Stackable electric cars which you can hire all over big cities, a website where you can rent out your vehicle when you’re not using it, lifelike ‘telepresence’ screens which let you talk to people in different countries and feel you’re in the same room – these are just some of today’s innovations which hint at what life may be like in 2040, according to a new report from Forum for the Future.
Megacities on the move argues that cities need to radically reengineer their infrastructures to cope with much larger populations. By 2040 two in three people will live in cities; the world’s urban population will grow from 3.5 billion to 5.6 billion.
The report gives examples of solutions cities worldwide need to adopt to ensure a sustainable future for their citizens. Without action now they risk becoming dysfunctional environments, where people face extreme deprivation, shortages of food, water and energy, and are vulnerable to floods, heat waves and other impacts of climate change.
Peter Madden, CEO of the Forum, said: “We are seeing the largest migration to cities in history. How those cities develop today will lock in behaviour for decades to come. The future wellbeing of billions of people depends on the action we take now. The global race for sustainability will be won or lost in the streets of our megacities.”
Megacities on the move, a collaboration with Vodafone, EMBARQ and the FIA Foundation, is a practical toolkit designed to help governments, city authorities and businesses understand the challenges of the future and develop strategies which will allow people to live and travel more sustainably in the major cities of the 21st century.
It sets out six solutions for sustainable mobility that they can follow now to help city-dwellers access the people, goods, services and information they need, and it gives examples of where these are already happening. It also provides four vivid scenarios for the world of 2040 which organisations can use to make long-term planning more effective by exploring what the future may hold for them.