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City of the Future

Ceylin Yıldırım

Published Apr 14, 2021

Today, cities are becoming standardized settlements that produce many negatives and where quality of life is reduced, losing identity, with the impact of rapid multi-faceted improvements. The reasons for this include rapid population growth, globalization, developing industry and information-communication technologies. Increasingly growing cities result in increased land values, decreased green spaces, high rant expectations and the decreased destruction of flora and fauna that feed and live the city on the city walls, thus causing the deterioration of the climate and ecological balance. The new urban planning models are being introduced to ensure that nature, urban life, human health can be sustainable; the cities of the future are discussed.

Cities of the future are always in the process of creation. Many researchers, architects, argue, plan and continue to speculate on the future of cities from ancient times to the present (Fainstein, 2014). After the Second World War, the improvement of the destroyed cities continued as a new phenomenon for its renewal. Efforts have been made to develop policies, measures and activities that will eliminate major forms of physical disaster in cities (Woodbury, 1953). In the 1970s and 1980s, a tendency toward centralized politics and the desire to 'balance' national economies have been seen as a relative shortfall in strategic thinking about the future of cities, beyond the need to rehabilitate the difficult areas of industrialization. However, starting in the second half of the 1980s, the transition to a new cycle of global trade and liberalization has led to more proactive approaches to future urban development (Moir et al., 2014). In 1987, United Nations Brundtland Commission's release on sustainable development and the "sustainable city" voice were among the urban definitions of the future. Socio-economically, the structure of cities, economic markets and enterprises have emerged as the "Global City" concept, which has been restructured as a result of restructuring, capital mobility, information and organization formation in the decision-making process (Sassen, 1991). In late 1990s, the discourse of "digital cities" was revealed as global technology and the rise in internet use, down to the global crisis. Supported by the European Commission program, European Digital cities, which opened in 1996, the digital idea enabled different definitions of the city's future for the purpose of representing its complex environments, supporting local communities and creating platforms and networks for strengthening citizens (Aurigi, 2005). The "smart cities" that are responsive to the rise of information and communication technologies, and that are sustainable and contain in-house are then on the agenda (Mora et al., 2017). Urban planning also focuses on increasing digital and technological approaches and trends in planning and integrating intelligent development strategies into the design process.

There are studies that are evolutionary reviews of urban technologies and their management (Table 1). Firstly, the City 1.0, companies such as IBM, CISCO, which offer technology services, urban solutions are technology-oriented, and cities are recommended as platforms (Foth,2017). Unlike the first phase, the City 2.0 is technology-assisted and managed by the city. It is described by city managers as a feature that leads the city's future, smart technologies and innovative settlements. The focus is particularly on technological solutions that improve quality of life . The City 3.0 is defined as a user-centered, participatory stage of user creation, focusing on justice and social integration issues (Cohen, 2015; Foth, 2018). As the next phase, in the City 4.0, city management is in co-operation with citizens . This approach, the convergence of real and thought allows the development of a city to enter a low-cost, high-efficiency stage. Digital transformation technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution, such as cloud computing, big data, internet of things, make it possible to build a virtual city that is one-to-one in the real city. Moreover, the increased accessibility of information technologies and the city is making the relationship between the city and the city more strengthening (Yun and Lee,2019). The "self-regulating" city and DIY urbanism of the future, which is supported by research, is expressed as the theory (Caldwell and Foth, 2014).  Finally, with the City 5.0, it was recognized that should be in the search for a new city, beyond the issues of digital participation, the affordable housing  and social justice (Svítek,2019). It showed that with climate change, natural disasters, and finally the world's affecting Covid-19, the city's challenges continue. With a human-focused planning approach only, it is clear that the fact that the animals, natural environment, in short, do not consider the ecosystem is not a solution for the cities to be healthy, smart, resilient, and inclusive. It is obvious that urban planning approaches need to change. The city 5.0 brings recommendations for planning future cities, focusing on the entire ecosystem (Smith,2017).

Cities of the future focus on encouraging people's collective life. Increased awareness of the negative impact of developing infrastructure on the ecosystem that affects the welfare of people is requiring approaches to cross-industry development to help future cities assess and mitigate them. Developed technological capacity such as artificial intelligent, information and communication technologies and internet of things to encourage more synergies between natural and structured environments enables planners to seriously address the urban form's relationship with environmental factors. Rapid technological developments are already transforming urban governance and urban governance in many cities. Future cities have strong traces and all urban features that are currently available. It also incorporates innovative approaches that use information and communication technologies and other tools to improve quality of life, the efficiency of urban operations and services.


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Moir, E., Moonen, T. and Clark, G. (2014). What Are Future Cities? Origins, Meanings and Uses. Published by Government Office for Science, Foresight [online]. Available at: (Accessed: 17 Jan 2021)

Mora, L., Bolici, R. and Deakin, M. (2017). ‘The First Two Decades of Smart-City Research: A Bibliometric Analysis’, Journal of Urban Technology, 24(1), pp. 3-27.

Sassen, S. (1991). The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Smith,N., Bardzell, S. and Bardzell, J. (2017). ’Designing for Cohabitation: Nature Cultures, Hybrids, and Decentering the Human in Design’. In Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp.1714– 1725.

Svítek, M., Skobelev, P. and Kozhevnikov, S. (2019). ‘Smart City 5.0 as an urban ecosystem of Smart services’. In International Workshop on Service Orientation in Holonic and Multi-Agent Manufacturing, pp. 426-438.

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Yun, Y. and Lee, M. (2019). ‘Smart City 4.0 from the Perspective of Open Innovation’. Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, 5(4), pp. 92-98.

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