According to AI, the future looks bright.
DailyMail.com asked the image generator Midjourney to envision what 10 US cities will look like in 2050, using clues from leading experts in smart city development.
The questions focused on how overcrowding, climate change and technological development are likely to change the cities of the future.
The astonishing results show that many of the concrete jungles are adorned with lush vegetation sprouting from sci-fi-looking hi-rises where winged vehicles soar in clear blue skies.
New York City: the cities of the future will be greener places, with vertical farms that produce food (Midjourney)
Houston: Vehicles on the road will be autonomous and greenery will be everywhere (Midjourney)
According to a UN forecast, by 2050, nearly three-quarters of the world’s population (68 percent) will live in cities.
While it may sound bleak, technology can turn overcrowded regions into lush utopias.
The cities of the future will use technology to improve quality of life, efficiency and sustainability, says Chris Dymond, director of the International Smart Cities Management Program at Zigurat Global Institute of Technology in Barcelona.
Dymond said travel will be unrecognizable on today’s polluted streets – as hybrid working and autonomous driving are reshaping the roads.
He said: “People are likely to travel less as remote working and telepresence become increasingly sophisticated and latency-free.
“When they travel, they have many more modes of transport to choose from, including autonomous driving or flying and on-demand.
Dymond believes that buildings will also be reformed to become more energy efficient, taking every opportunity to recover wasted energy.
Cities will also become greener, with fruits and vegetables grown locally, Dymond said.
Washington: The cities of the future will be greener and ruled by benevolent AI (Midjourney)
Philadelphia: Autonomous flying cars allow city residents to take off and fly to their destinations (Midjourney)
San Francisco: Vertical farms will reshape the cities of the future
Chicago: Solar panels and low-energy lifestyles will transform the cities of the future (Midjourney)
Dymond said: ‘Our communities will become radically more efficient and sustainable, and hopefully healthier too.’
He believes artificial intelligence will play a role in managing these future cities.
Digital twin technology enables city dwellers to see the effect of decisions on traffic, air quality and safety as they happen.
Dymond said: ‘Perhaps the biggest change will be accessible digital twins, which can show everyone what is really going on in their city and what the effect of each decision is likely to be.’
‘Whether they become better places to live depends on how citizens are gradually involved in decision-making, and whether AI and numerous other technological developments make this easier.’
Artificial intelligence will be key to managing future cities, agrees Wendy Shearer, Smart Cities Director, Pulsant.
Shearer believes future mayors will have deputies who are powerful artificial intelligence.
Seattle: The cars on the road will be autonomous and send data back to city leaders (Midjourney)
Los Angeles: Green will be everywhere in the cities of the future (Midjourney)
Boston: Cities of the future will be reshaped by robotics and green energy (Midjourney)
San Diego: In the future, cities will be reshaped by solar energy and robotic vehicles (Midjourney)
She said: “In the smart city of 2050, an AI City Manager reports directly to the local mayor.
“While the mayor has ultimate authority over policies and political decisions, data-driven insights will be so finely integrated into the city’s operations that the role of AI City Manager will be established to standardize and evolve the urban environment.”
“Each smart city leader would be responsible for implementing and maintaining the complex technologies needed to deliver the city’s vision – and make the most of the data generated by the smart city itself. Shearer said.