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From Suburbs To Cities: The Future Of Urban Design

Posted by Kevin Liang on

Sustainability is the future. 

We're beginning to see sustainable design appear in all facets of our lives, ranging from the eco-lodge hotels to plastic-free, hybrid-powered cruises helping reduce oil consumption. 

The world is a vastly different place from what it was even just a decade ago. 

And that begs us to question - where will the world be 10 years from now? 

“Many people already live more fluid lives, and it will become even more common to work not only from home but in public spaces, such as cafés, parks, squares,” Rönnegård says.

Pier Fawkes, founder of Retail Innovations Week, believes in a few key design changes which will happen by 2030: 
  • Communal living spaces
  • Suburbs will be redeveloped into automated food factories
  • Vacations will be taken in remote locations, but in communal spaces

Communal Living Spaces

Sustainability means more than reducing food waste, or usage of electricity. 

It also means reducing the cost of shipping food hundreds or thousands of miles away to reach your home. 

Having larger, shared living spaces which reduce physical distances can help to improve sustainability of lifestyle. 

Pier believes that there will be certain rooms for privacy, such as your bedroom, whereas other aspects of your life will be communal such as through sharing of appliances. 

Food halls will be connected to your living spaces, with food prepared in common kitchens accessible to all. 

The benefits of this approach are multi-faceted, and can include increased health & wellness by reducing social isolation, not to mention the savings in reduced logistical costs associated with maintaining single-dwelling living spaces. 

Automated Food Factories

On the other hand, Pier believes that automated food factories will be created out of previous suburban areas. 

Because spread-out neighborhoods will be too far and inaccessible from areas of work, play, and education, the benefits of living in the suburb will be reduced. 

Instead, automated factories that grow & process food and other materials will take their place. 

Robots on wires will help grow food in climate controlled environments, while the roofs will be lined with solar panels to reduce the environmental footprint of these factories. 


And with the development of shared, communal living spaces, vacationing too will involve a sharing of experiences amongst people. 

Rather than vacationing isolated, and alone, people will come together and explore new areas in groups, helping reduce waste associated with travel. 

The world is rapidly moving towards a future filled with more co-existence than ever before, and alongside taking care of the Earth, many feel that both our mental and physical well-being will increase as well. 

To learn more, Evamaria Rönnegård, leader of IKEA's Better Living Project shares her thoughts here on flexible dwellings for consumers' increasingly fluid lifestyles, merging work, home and play in sustainable shared spaces. 

What do you think the future will look like? 

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