Best of Futurology Episode 4: Future Cities

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Best of Futurology Episode 4: Future Cities

1. Future Cities
This video discusses how cities may change in the face of uncertain future food, energy and water supplies. It is presented by Christopher Barnatt, Associate Professor of Computing & Future Studies in Notingham University Business School,

2. Imagining the Future City: London 2062 - editors' introduction
Is London turning into a city where football clubs such as Arsenal and Chelsea run schools, Londoners commonly convert their roofs into "micro-farms" and people are subject to separate migration laws to the rest of the UK? A new UCL book enables academics to imagine how current trends in energy use, transport, education, governance and health might have played out by 2062.

In Imagining the Future City: London 2062, world-leading experts in urban planning, geography, politics, engineering, computer science and policy contribute scenarios intended to provoke debate about the choices currently facing Londoners.

3. Japan to build cities in the ocean
A metropolitan city can hardly be called a good place to live in. Perhaps, every resident of megacities dreams of living out of town -- somewhere in the midst of green forests, by the seaside or at least by the river. This remains a dream for many. Slowly but surely, it becomes a part of reality for others.

Everyone is aware of the problem of the shortage of land in Japan. It is quite possible that soon the Japanese will have to build new cities on the water surface and even up in the sky. This is how the dream can come true.

Not that long ago, a Japanese company put forward a project of a floating artificial city -- a giant floating island that can become a home for at least 100,000 people. The city of the future will look like a colony of giant water lilies.

There is another project about the construction of new cities in the sky. The designers can already give the dates. The new module-like cities will create a whole neighborhood in the Pacific Ocean by 2025. The residents of the city will mostly live in skyscrapers placed in the center of water lilies. The towers will be surrounded by artificially created fields and forests. Additional residential areas with prestigious mansions will be built on the shores of the artificial islands. The climate on the floating islands is promised to be good and pleasant. The modules will be drifting in the Pacific Ocean along the equator, so the average temperatures will make up 26-28 degrees above zero. Agriculture will be developing and prospering, the costs on electricity will not be that large.

This seems to be like science fiction, but the fiction may soon come true. Would you agree to live in a floating city like that?

4. Designing the vertical farm
Four architects describe their designs for the vertical farms of the future

5. Floating cities proposed as haven for future happiness
From Russia and the Middle East to western Europe and the United States, dissatisfaction with politics and politicians has led to protest, conflict and, in many cases, violence. But it doesn't have to be that way, according to a U.S. think-tank called The Seasteading Institute. Backed by wealthy donors, the non-profit group believes future peace and prosperity lies far out at sea. Ben Gruber reports.

California's Seasteading Institute believes countries of the future will be built on the ocean. These nations will be fully sustainable, self-governing floating cities designed as havens for research and innovation. The institute's president Michael Keenan, says the most successful will become thriving new societies. It's an idea he says, whose time has come.

MICHAEL KEENAN, PRESIDENT OF THE SEASTEADING INSTITUTE: "There is no one kind of government for everyone. There is no one ideology for everyone and so if there was a new space to start governments we would see an ideal society for everyone. But there is no more land, however, seventy percent of the world's surface is covered by ocean and it is unclaimed, it's international waters. So the Seasteading Institute strives to create to new countries floating in international waters." Keenan says this is no idealistic pipedream. Paypal's billionaire founder Peter Theil has donated more than 1.5 million dollars to the Institute and other wealthy donors are following suit. The design of these off shore communities is led by Institute engineer in George Petrie. He says much of the technology to build floating cities already exists.

GEORGE PETRIE, HEAD OF ENGINEERING, SEASTEADING INSTITUTE: "Why don't we just utilise what is so readily available to us by colonising the surface of the sea and positioning ourselves to intelligently take advantage of the resources that the open oceans, the bounty of the open oceans offer us." Petrie says the first floating cities will be modelled after semi-submersible oil platforms.

GEORGE PETRIE, HEAD OF ENGINEERING, SEASTEADING INSTITUTE: "So even in very inhospitable, even in very stormy sea conditions, the platform will remain very stable, very minimal motion. One would hardly know that they are on a floating body." He says the cities will be able to expand by linking on new, modular parts - much like Lego pieces. Petrie says solar power, wind turbines, and other cutting edge technology will supply the floating cities with power.

MICHAEL KEENAN, PRESIDENT OF THE SEASTEADING INSTITUTE: "In a decade you will start to see custom built semisubmersible platforms resembling oil rigs and in a few decades - huge cities the size of Hong Kong with millions of people living in very diverse, very effective and efficient societies on the ocean." And the institute's ideas are already taking off. A company called Blueseed is converting an ocean liner into what it says will be a floating version of Silicon Valley. With no visa requirement, it's designed to attract foreign talent to develop new technologies. The ship is is scheduled for launch late next year, the first of what Michael Keenan hopes will be hundreds of seasteads created over the next several decades. Keenan admits it's an ambitious idea...but one that will eventually offer millions of people the opportunity to choose a country that suits them best. Ben Gruber, Reuters.

6. Hamburg: Green City of the Future?
All eyes are on Germany as the country prepares to abandon nuclear power by 2020. Hamburg, an industrial port on Germany's northern shore, may seem like an unlikely candidate to be voted Europe's Green City of 2011. But this urban hub won accolades for its innovation in green planing, transportation, and construction. Is it a model city of the future? Correspondent Constantino de Miguel reports.

7. New Cities Summit 2012 - A Glimpse into Future Cities
Prof. Carlo Ratti from the MIT's SENSEable City Lab takes alook at Future Cities during the New Cities Summit 2012