How to Death-Proof the Cities of the Future

To safeguard the future of our increasingly urban species, our cities must be sturdier, healthier and more alive.

Cities are not static objects to be feared or admired, but are instead a living process that residents are changing all the time. Given how much bigger and more common cities are likely to become over the next century, we’ll need to change them even further. 

Using predictive models from engineering and public health, designers will plan safer, healthier cities that could allow us to survive natural disasters, pandemics and even a radiation calamity that drives us underground.

But there is an even more radical way we’ll transform our cities. Over the next two centuries, we’ll probably convert urban spaces into biological organisms. By doing this, we will make ourselves ready to prevent two of the biggest threats to human existence: starvation and environmental destruction. 

Eventually this biological transformation might result in cities unlike any that have existed before. The biological city could provide us with food and energy security for millennia to come.

ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
DSCJulyAugCover
+

Log in to your account

X
Email address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it emailed to you.

Not registered yet?

Register now for FREE. It takes only a few seconds to complete. Register now »