Cities That Are Living in the Year 3020
Many cities are leading the pack when it comes to futuristic designs and concepts. For instance, in Quebec, the crosswalks spring up out of the streets. Another destination illuminates drones instead of using fireworks to light up the sky with colorful displays.
The future is already here. Is your city ahead of the game or falling sadly behind? Here are some of the best cities living in the year 3020.
Pop Up Crosswalks | Montreal, Canada
Pedestrians always have the right of way, but sometimes, that rule isn’t followed. Crosswalks are dangerous if drivers don't stop while pedestrians cross the street. It's an ongoing safety issue, but Montreal has been testing out new public crosswalks to encourage drivers to slow down.
One of the designs is a 3D painted crosswalk, which creates an optical illusion and tricks drivers into believing the section is elevated. Another design was a crosswalk that sprang up out of the streets. It was only a prank, but the project reminded drivers to respect pedestrian crossings.
Concerts Without Physical Performers | Everywhere
Hologram concert tours are a real thing. In 2012, a hologram of Tupac Shakur made its controversial debut at Coachella. That was just the beginning. Thanks to Base Hologram from Santa Monica, California, famous performers who have passed away are coming back and hitting the road.
So far, the company has launched two major tours featuring Roy Orbison and the opera singer Maria Callas. Other upcoming tours include Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse. For some of these artists' fans, this is good news. However, others find it controversial and unnecessary.
Circuses with “Unreal” Animals | Several Cities in Germany
Circus Roncalli, a German circus, was founded in 1976. Like most circuses, the company was known for its animal performances, but many people have criticized these businesses for animal cruelty. In response, some cities have banned animal circuses, and entertainment companies have started phasing out animal performances. However, Circus Roncalli's animal acts are literally "unreal."
Instead of using live beasts, the company installs 11x ZU850 Optoma projectors and 11x BX-CTA03 lenses to create an impressive holographic experience. Audiences love the performances and clap loudly as holographic elephants perform tricks and then disappear. Would you attend a hologram circus?
Fireworks Were So 2020 | Shanghai, China
Some people complained that Shanghai's New Year’s drone display was fake, while others found it very impressive. Thousands of drones illuminated Shanghai's night sky, synchronizing to take the form of 3-D figures. For instance, an animated man running and the year 2020 lit up the night sky at different points.
The rest of the world thought the display took place on New Year's Eve because the footage was released that day, but the company behind the show admitted the drone display was pre-recorded on December 28. Regardless, some people believe this is an exciting move to reduce noise and smoke pollution caused by fireworks. What do you think? Team Fireworks or Team Drones?
Remote-Controlled Trucks | San Francisco, California
Starsky Robotics sounds like something straight out of a Marvel movie, but it's a real company with headquarters in San Francisco. In June 2019, the company probably shocked a few drivers on Florida's Turnpike when it tested one of its trucks on the highway.
Those driving next to the truck noticed that nobody was in the cab. That's because Starsky Robotics was testing unmanned autonomous vehicles. Traveling at 55 miles per hour, the truck successfully changed lanes, merged and navigated 9.4 miles of highway with no human on board. The truck was remote-controlled by a human sitting in a distant room with screens and a steering wheel.
Underwater Hotel | Dubai, United Arab Emirates
When it comes to futuristic designs, Dubai is known for being ahead of the rest of the world. It's easy to see with the city’s fancy hotels, 24-carat gold ATMs and the highest tennis court in the world. Another extraordinary attraction is Dubai's fully underwater hotel, Atlantis, The Palm.
The hotel features the open ocean and its creatures as its main attraction. Several rooms have glass ceilings and windows for visitors to look out into open waters. It's like having your own personal aquarium, where fish and sharks swim by.
Furniture with Secrets | Kirchlengern, Germany
Kirchlengern is home to Hettich, one of the world's most innovative creators of furniture. Each piece of furniture slides and opens in unexpected ways. Hettich's technology makes beautiful and intelligent products for every room in your home, from the kitchen to the bathroom.
Don't believe us? Check out their kitchen cabinets with crazy hidden compartments and the innovative sliding bathroom mirror. These products are both astonishing and functional. For people with tiny homes, apartments or offices, these designs offer great space-saving solutions.
Using Traffic to Produce Energy | Istanbul, Turkey
Vehicles are powerful — so powerful, you can even feel a gust of wind when they drive past sometimes. One innovative company thought we should take advantage of the force that wind produces. Guess what? It turned out to be a good idea.
ENLIL, a Turkish-based company, installed turbines on highways to harness the wind generated by passing cars and use it to create energy. That's right. This is energy that could power a city. Testing took place in Istanbul. The result? ENLIL found that the device produces 1 kilowatt of electricity every hour.
Singapore's Garden | Singapore
Gardens are often beautiful and impressive, but Singapore has a particularly stunning version that will make your jaw drop. As one of the most innovative cities in the world, Singapore has many remarkable features, including Gardens by the Bay, where nature and technology collide.
Located behind the Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay is a massive flower garden with enormous artificial trees made of lights. Bars sit on top of the structures, where visitors can feel close to nature while gazing out over the glamorous city.
Delivery via Drone | Reykjavik, Iceland
Many consumers get packages delivered by another human, but in Reykjavik, Iceland, fully automated drones handle some of the deliveries. It's one of the few places on Earth where drones drop off packages. Delivery via a drone is big business.
In fact, the Israeli company Flytrex teamed up with online marketplace Aha to start a drone service. The drone drops off packages in a landing zone, and an Aha employee picks them up and finishes the deliveries. Flytrex plans to have drones deliver directly into backyards in the future.
The Spaceship | Cupertino, California
Cupertino, California is home to the Apple Campus 2, a.k.a. The Spaceship. Apple is famous for its series of personal computers, iPhones and iPods. Steve Jobs, the company's co-founder, helped create the "out of this world" campus.
The building resembles a futuristic spaceship (that doesn't plan on going away soon). The campus also includes a garden in the middle of the structure. Apple is always innovating and coming up with ways to wow the world, and it shows in their office building too.
The World's Most Heavily Surveilled | Chongqing, China
Some people argue that privacy is dead, especially in Chongqing where residents experience less privacy than any other city in the world. Why? The city is covered in a whopping array of 2.58 million surveillance cameras. That is equal to one camera for every six people.
The surveillance system is located everywhere, from the sidewalks to shopping districts. It's used for facial recognition, monitoring suspicious activity and even tracking jaywalkers. Some residents think the heavy surveillance is oppressive, but others believe the city should have even more cameras.
Robot Restaurant | Tokyo, Japan
As one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, Japan is also known for its quirky inventions and ideas. Travelers often talk about the country's use of robots in malls, hotels and many other public spaces.
However, there's one famous site that really stands out: Robot Restaurant. Located in Tokyo, Robot Restaurant is actually what it sounds like — a dinner spot run by flashy robots. If you're looking for monsters, dancers and lasers, this is where you can find them.
Skygarden | Seoul, South Korea
Many amazing things come from South Korea, such as the four-time Oscar-winning film Parasite. Another crowning achievement of the country is Seoul's Skygarden, which features an elevated park over the city's traffic. More than 24,000 plants call this green wonderland home.
The Skygarden was originally a highway overpass, but it was transformed into a stunning pathway for pedestrians. Now, people can skip the crowded streets and stroll through the garden instead. The garden starts in the Malli-dong neighborhood and ends at Hoehyeon Station.
Spaceport | Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
Airports are common locations for flight takeoffs, but have you ever heard of a spaceport for space exploration? Spaceports aren't just designs or ideas anymore — they exist in real life. One is located in Sierra County, New Mexico, but it has had very little action so far.
Spaceport was designed for commercial use, so anyone who owns a spaceship can launch it from the area. Currently, individuals don't have their own spaceships, of course, but some big companies do. However, none of them have launched from this spaceport yet. The good news is the building is open to the public.
Tianjin Binhai Library | Tianjin, China
The Tianjin Binhai Library is a book lover's dream come true. Designed by architectural firm MVRDV, the futuristic library is six stories high. It didn't take long for the structure to go viral. Visitors were mesmerized by the white floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and glowing spherical atrium.
More than 200,000 books line the shelves of the library — or so it seems. Visitors have exposed the library for some of its fake books. In the main hall, for example, there are pictures of books on the shelves instead of real ones. The majority of the books are actually stored in other rooms on traditional bookshelves.
Solar-Powered Water | Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Since 2008, Dubai has been crowned the city with the tallest building in the world. At 2,717 feet, the Burj Khalifa is classified as megatall. The world-record-breaking skyscraper also has the highest number of stories in the world and the highest outdoor observation deck in the world.
If you're still not impressed, check out the technology features in the Burj Khalifa. Even better, the smart elements are environmentally friendly. For instance, its solar panels heat almost 37,000 gallons of water for residents, saving 3,200 KW of energy a day.
Underwater Music | Berlin, Germany
Spas usually play soft music or sounds of nature to help their customers relax. Liquidrom tried something new, creating a futuristic techno spa with a combination of trippy lights and techno beats that sound like the opposite of soothing. However, this business found a way to make it work.
The Liquidrom's large saltwater floating pool is the spa's main attraction. Inside the dimly lit dome, the pool comes to life with a light show and slow-paced techno beats. Surprisingly, the music is meant to be heard underwater for the ultimate relaxation experience.
Sensors to Track Living Conditions | Chicago, Illinois
When it comes to tracking air quality and traffic data, Chicago is leading the pack. The city's Array of Things project uses sensors to record air quality and traffic conditions on each block. Many intersection traffic poles are equipped with these sensors.
The trackers may seem strange, but their intended purpose is to better serve citizens based on the collected data. For instance, the sensors can resolve public health risks and congestion on roads by tracking pedestrian and vehicle traffic as well as nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide in the air.
The Fastest Train in the World | Shanghai, China
The world’s fastest train wasn't created in 2020; it was made in 2004. Hitting 267 mph, the Shanghai Maglev has been ahead of the game for years already. It's not shiny or new, but there's no doubt that this machine is impressive.
Using magnetic levitation (maglev) technology, the Shanghai Maglev runs 19 miles from Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport to the Longyang metro station near Shanghai. Even better, each ride only costs $8. You’ll have to be quick to snap a photo of the speedy train, of course.
Drive-Up Groceries | Seattle, Washington
In the past, people traditionally spent a lot of time inside grocery stores to get all their necessary items. Today, grocery store trips aren't the same as they used to be. There are so many different ways to shop, including AmazonFresh Pickup, a new grocery store pick up service.
Customers can place an online order for groceries and pick them up without ever leaving their cars. Sounds unbelievable, right? AmazonFresh Pickup is available to Amazon Prime members as well as the public — if you happen to live in Seattle. So far, that’s the only city that can take advantage of this service.
A Radical Recycling Program | Oslo, Norway
If you believe you’re an extreme recycler, think again. Residents in Norway's capital city lead the way when it comes to plastic recycling. The city of Oslo is home to an inspiring company called Infinitum, which manages the country's radical recycling program.
Currently, Norway recycles 97% of all the plastic bottles they use, thanks to Infinitum. That's a huge achievement. Customers can return their used bottles or cans at a reverse vending machine, a device that returns money after a person deposits a bottle. They can also return them over the counter at gas stations and small shops.
Pay Fare in Squats | Moscow, Russia
Can you imagine exercising in exchange for a train ticket? In 2013, commuters at the Moscow subway station got the chance to pay their fares in squats. The station installed a machine with a sensor that tracked anyone performing squats.
A free ticket on the subway cost travelers 30 squats. The squat-to-ride promo only lasted until December 2013. It was a great way to get residents excited for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, and the fun idea caught the attention of many people around the world. Other cities, such as Mexico City, gave the concept a try too.
The Robocop | Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Meet Dubai’s most unusual police officer: the Robocop. The robot has a human-like face, but its eyes are actually two cameras. Patrolling the city, this bot lets pedestrians report crime and pay traffic tickets using the touchscreen on its chest.
However, Dubai's first copbot won't be alone for long. By 2030, the police force plans to have Robocops make up 25% of its officers. Don't worry, the Dubai police aren't going to replace any of their human officers, and Robocops won't carry guns or make arrests.
Alien Bases | Brøndby Garden City, Denmark
One Denmark community lives in a surreal circle garden. From the ground view, the community almost resembles a normal neighborhood. But from an aerial view, the garden city looks like an alien base of positioned housing circles.
Brøndby Haveby, or Brøndby Garden City, is known for its unique landscape, fresh air and quiet neighborhood. This otherworldly city has a circular housing project, where residents enjoy using their green thumbs. You won't find any aliens living there, but you will find a society of plant lovers.
Glow-in-the-Dark Paths | Lidzbark Warminski, Poland
Sometimes, walking or biking around at night can be challenging because it's hard to see the lanes. One solution is to bring your flashlight to navigate the paths or streets, but one city wanted to make life easier for its citizens by installing a solar-powered, glow-in-the-dark bike lane.
Found near Lidzbark Warminski in northern Poland, the cycling passage glows in blue for 10 hours each night. The design is made from a synthetic material that is heavily dependent on solar power. Cycling and walking are already eco-friendly, and this sun-charged strip is great for the environment too.
2-D Cafes | Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo brings the comic book world to life at the 2D cafe Shin-Okubo. This artsy restaurant is definitely insta-worthy. If you only saw a picture of the inside, you would believe it's just an illustration (until a real human pops up).
The amazing illusion plays tricks on your brain, but everything is actually two-toned. The floors, tables and chairs are white while their edges are uneven black stripes, which resemble sketch lines. The food and drinks remain filled with color and flavor — and really pop, thanks to the white background.
Bee Stops | Utrecht, Netherlands
You’ve heard of bus stops, but have you ever heard of bee stops? Sounds fake, right? In the Netherlands, bee stops actually exist. The county is home to more than 358 bee species, and unfortunately, these animals are endangered.
In fact, more than half are on the Dutch Red List. To save the bee species, Netherlands’ officials transformed the city of Utrecht’s bus stops into bee stops. These bee-friendly landing places allow them to pollinate and grow their populations.
“Interstellar” Restaurant | Mexico City, Mexico
One pop-up restaurant in Mexico City's Citibanamex is like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. That's because it’s based on Christopher Nolan's film Interstellar. The themed restaurant is a space lover's dream. Covered in 250,000 LED lights, the surreal atmosphere takes customers to a whole new world while they dine.
Almazán y Arquitectos Asociados collaborated with Concepto Taller de Arquitectura and Pin Studio to make this themed restaurant come alive. Everything at the restaurant is visually spectacular, including the floating library at the entrance.
Hospital Built in 10 Days | Wuhan, China
In December 2019, a new coronavirus, COVID-19, was detected in Wuhan City, China. According to the CDC, many reports initially stated that the source of the outbreak was a seafood and live animal market, indicating animal-to-person spread. However, later reports suggested a person-to-person spread.
Today, the virus has infected thousands worldwide. To handle the growing number of cases, Chinese authorities rushed to build a new hospital in Wuhan. Within 10 days, the city built and opened the doors to a 1,000-bed hospital. The quick and massive construction is impressive and made headlines worldwide.