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BW Businessworld

Urban Living

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Between now and 2050, urban growth will only rise. There will be a need to develop green cities to fight climate change. Eco-cities will be a popular solution. They will aim to reduce or eliminate fossil-fuel use, adopt sustainable building practices, promote "green space" and clean air

Sustainable cities will be carbon-neutral, zero-waste, walled metropolises where vehicles run on electricity. Public transportation will be popular, and people will travel by foot and bicycles
The world's first mile-high skyscraper Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia will be completed

After going vertical, the world's big cities will go underground as the cost to burrow down drops significantly

The best food will be grown in skyscrapers. Soil-based agriculture will be passé. Thirty-storey greenhouses in cities will allow us to produce more food, for less money, in a healthier way, freeing up arable land 2040

Global population will hit 8.5 billion. People will live on floating cities and meet friends in virtual reality

Pressure-sensitive floors in old people's homes will detect the impact of a fall and will auto-contact help

The predictions are compiled from the writings of futurists Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock and The Third
Wave; Ian Pearson, a futurologist with Futurizon who is credited to have an "85 per cent accuracy at the 10 year
horizon"; Patrick Dixon, business consultant and head of trends forecasting company Global Change; Ray
Kurzweil, author and inventor with interests in optical character recognition and speech recognition; and Thomas
Frey, executive director and senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute; among others

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 12-12-2011)