A Vision into the Future of Home Sweet Home

December 26, 2018

future-city planning and urbanisation

As many of you may or may not know, I am a mother of two almost-teenagers so I spend a lot of my time thinking about the state of the world when my children are to be the ‘working class’. The one thing that I noticed being a parent is that time goes by fast. I remember when my first born was 3 months, (and I obsessively took photos of her every action like any new modern day parent does), and a FB mom-friend wrote ‘Don’t blink or else she will be a teenager!’ She’s about to be 11 in a few months, and dammit, I must have blinked. While it has been an eventful last decade or so in terms of technology and the state of our world, some things move faster or slower than others. In this post I want to talk about the changes in consumerism, the state of what humans are doing to the environment and how this is all linked to urbanization & the future of cities.

Yesterday was Christmas 2018, and for the first year in my children’s life we didn’t do Santa (mainly due to the fact they never got their letter in), so we just did a few small gifts. I personally hate over-indulgent consumerism… but I love the magic of childhood so I try my best to do the minimal during the holidays while maintaining the magic. So like every year, there are trends and popular items. 2018 seemed to me to be the year of anxiety consumerism aka the trend towards items like weighted blankets, fidget spinners or noise canceling headphones etc. So what does this mean? Are people just more aware of their mental states and have better tools to catered to their self-healing? Whatever the reason, I am all for conscious consumerism, and for being better at life in every way for all. Whether it is organic locally source groceries or eco-friendly shopping bags or energy saving light bulbs, I believe the generations of today are starting to choose better where they spend their money, put into their bodies and invest their time in. Whether we are consciously aware or not, we are connected as a species sharing the human experience. What happens to us on a global level affects us all in some way, directly or indirectly. The future, while not seen by anyone literally, is indeed felt by many. If you sense uncertainty in the future, we generally label this feeling as anxiety. The intuition of people and the uncertainty is not only surfacing but growing annually and is getting harder to ignore. What is going on and why are we so anxious as a society when technology seems more advanced than ever? Let’s look at the lifestyle of how we live as I believe the cause of many of these issues is related to urbanization. (Disclaimer note, there are many reasons for anxiety on a personal level. In this post I wanted to solely focus on taking a look at the global trend of urbanization of humans as a whole).

As the human population grows, so do our cities. As in the talk by Geoffrey West in the Ted Talk – The Surprising Math of Cities and Corporations – “Cities are the crucible of civilization. They have been expanding, urbanization has been expanding, at an exponential rate in the last 200 years so that by the second part of this century, the planet will be completely dominated by cities. Cities are the origins of global warming, impact on the environment, health, pollution, disease, finance, economies, energy — they’re all problems that are confronted by having cities. That’s where all these problems come from. And the tsunami of problems that we feel we’re facing in terms of sustainability questions are actually a reflection of the exponential increase in urbanization across the planet.

Here’s some numbers.

  • Two hundred years ago, the United States was less than a few percent urbanized. It’s now more than 82 percent. The planet has crossed the halfway mark a few years ago.
  • China’s building 300 new cities in the next 20 years.
  • Every week for the foreseeable future, until 2050, every week more than a million people are being added to our cities. This is going to affect everything. Everybody in this room, if you stay alive, is going to be affected by what’s happening in cities in this extraordinary phenomenon.

However, cities, despite having this negative aspect to them, are also the solution. Because cities are the vacuum cleaners and the magnets that have sucked up creative people, creating ideas, innovation, wealth and so on. So we have this kind of dual nature. ” Society wants a fantasy-land of comfort, convenience and beauty but not willing or know how to personally access the positive impact work needed to combat their ways and the the cost of offsetting their negative impact to the planet (or their sanity). I personally believe Quantaloop will be a strong anchor behind the scenes reinforcing the infrastructure of future societies to combat negative impact actions and assist in the work of tree planting, renewable energy, recycling waste management, clean air & water, global pollution and more.

See you in 2019 everyone! Want to connect with us? You can find our individual contacts on our corporate website at www.quantaloop.com.

Sandra out!