There are so many amazing cities in this world, and some of them have way surpassed others in terms of high-end technologies, innovative designs and environmental advancements. They make it pretty hard for others who haven’t caught up yet.
The cobblestone streets and old fashioned cities remind us of where we probably come from, but the future is here and things are changing at lightning speed. Modern designs and eco-friendly spaces are the new norm and some very clever architects from across the globe have proven this ahead of their times.
And we are not talking only skyscrapers and gorgeous skylines. Advanced telecommunications, artificial intelligence, and well-thought out flow of traffic with easy access to essential facilities is what interests people today. Overall, that’s the kind of cities that many aspire to become sooner rather than later.
As we saw in the last year alone, things in the world are changing, and people and cities who don’t follow suit will suffer in the long run. It’s time to give up old fashioned mentalities and backwards ways of doing things. These cities we chose for our list have lots to offer, so others can easily get their inspiration from those urban landscapes.
Another thing for cities to consider, but some seem to overlook, is that the world’s population is growing on a global scale. Therefore, cities should really consider replanning their urban centers to accommodate more people. And let’s not forget about the fight to become more green and rely more and more on natural resources.
If cities are not willing to push boundaries and change their way of thinking, they will fall behind very fast in this rapid world we’re living in. The cities that made this list all have some, if not all of those features under their belt already, and they are striving to develop even more in the years to come.
We narrowed down the list to only 15 futuristic cities, but there are lots more that deserve credit, we just focused on those for now.
15. Moscow, Russia
Yes, we’ll kick off this list with Moscow, but for good reason. The International Business Center that is located right in the center of Moscow brings up this city on a global scale. The 60-hectare area that is filled with skyscrapers houses some of the tallest landmarks in Europe. What differentiates them from other skyscrapers in the world is their unique shapes and colors.
Another interesting fact is that their tallest building, the Federation Tower, is built from high-strength concrete that will protect the building in the event an aircraft would hit it. Moscow is also world renowned for their cultural, economic and scientific centers. A great mix of old and new is what makes this city one to consider visiting.
14. Toronto, Canada
With more than 50% of their population born outside of Canada, Toronto is one of the more diverse cities in the world, named so by UNESCO. Diversity is a richness that, if used wisely, has many benefits.
Toronto has been making some very important advances in the artificial intelligence sphere, and it controls the whole country’s financial operations. Their skyscrapers and downtown core has been compared to New York’s for decades, and it wouldn’t surprise us if in a few years Toronto might even surpass the Big Apple in terms of technological innovations and AI.
This dynamic metropolis has a very vibrant nightlife and a very diverse cuisine from all over the world.
13. Tallinn, Estonia
Estonia gained their independence from Russia in 1991, and since then they have made remarkable strides in the technology and IT sectors. They were one of the first cities in the world to have installed free wi-fi throughout the city in 2002.
Their innovative ways made important advances in the technology world, and they were the ones that got the popular video chatting Skype started. What they might lack in looks, they more than make up for in the startup scene.
They were also one of the first cities to evoke e-voting since 2007. Many North American cities are not there yet, and we’re in 2021! It wouldn’t surprise us if we hear a lot more about Tallinn in the years to come.
14. Bangalore, India
When people think of cities in India they think solely that they are overpopulated, extremely hot, and behind in terms of technology and modern luxuries. That may be true for some of them, but we are here to show you one of the most advanced and modern cities not only in India, but internationally.
The city’s innovative spirit has made some important strides in the IT sector in the last few years, enough that they bypassed some more well-known urban centers in the Occident. The Bangalore Tech Park is outsourcing to many companies like LinkedIn and Dell because of the high quality labor at cheaper costs.
Thus they created many jobs for their engineers, which are more innovative than some of their western colleagues. The biotech industry is also booming in this developing city, and they are just getting started.
13. Amsterdam, Netherlands
One of the greenest and prettiest cities in the world, Amsterdam is definitely an example to follow if we care about our planet at all. They are world leaders in the area of emission reduction, and they have so many projects going on to improve commutes and reduce those harmful emissions.
Amsterdam is world famous for the highest number of habitants using bikes as their main means of transportation. The city has also implemented Amsterdam Smart City, a smart floating neighbourhood, as well as the Smart Work Project. Their laid back approach to things is also one of their strengths, and their minimalist way of life is something to be admired.
12.Seoul, South Korea
Seoul was once a poor city that was ravaged by the Korean War, but they rose from the destruction and rebuilt themselves into one of the prosperous and tech savvy places in the world. Many rural habitants moved to the city after the war, and they rebuilt the growing city from the ground up.
They invested into working with urban planners to create what became the 2010 World Design Capital. Seoul has breathtaking, well-designed architecture, a thriving arts scene with many cultural venues and museums to visit, as well as a vibrant nightlife. They also have many business centers, malls, sports centers and restaurants that operate 24 hours a day.
9. Brasilia, Brazil
Brasilia started its urban planning as we know it today in 1960, after it was inaugurated as the capital of Brazil. Architect Lucio Costa is the man behind its famous airplane shaped development, which is the only city built in the 20th century to become a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Today it is one of the most ultra-modern cities in the world, and although it was often criticised for their use of highways, it is probably why it is also on this list. The city’s layout is unique, with vast open spaces and gorgeous architecture. Business oriented, the government also has a lot of power in the city.
Ecotourism has been on the rise in Brasilia in the last few years, and we have not seen the last of it just yet.
8. Helsinki, Finland
The capital of Finland is one of the first cities in its region to make some noticeable strides in the areas of social progress and technological advancements such as free wi-fi across the entire city. The city’s Scandinavian architecture might not be as impressive as some of their Asian counterparts, but they do have their share of sleek and modern buildings in their design district.
Where they are ahead of many other cities in the world is when it comes to education and social benefits, such as generous maternity and paternity leave. The family and wellbeing of their citizens are their number one priority, and they were the first city in the world to legalize same sex civil partnerships in 2002.
7. San Francisco, United States
The whole Silicon Valley, which includes San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Jose, and Menlo Park is one of the most socially progressive areas in the US. Not only because of its massive IT industry, which mostly operates out of the area, but socially they are more advanced than most of the United States. They were the first city to legalize same sex marriage, and are generally more open-minded as far as individual rights are concerned.
Hundreds of tech companies, such as Apple, Google, Facebook and other startups are based in Silicon Valley. NASA’s Ames Research institute is also located there, and there are so many young creative types living or working in the area, so it’s no wonder they rate so high on any list.
They are also famous for a large number of beautiful homes, which are regularly featured in popular design magazines.
6. Masdar, United Arab Emirates
When you think about cities in the United Arab Emirates there are only two that come to mind: Dubai and Abu Dhabi. But this city might be the next big thing to come from the UAE. Masdar City is a zero-waste, zero-carbon planned city, that was built like a cleantech hub next to Abu Dhabi Airport featuring clean-energy mass transit and naturally cooled streets, just to name a few of its highlights.
The newest part of one of the richest countries in the world, Masdar is no stranger to a futuristic skyline. UAE’s global preservation efforts are one of the best in the world, and they rely mostly on solar energy and solar resources. They know that is where the future is going, and they invest most of their resources into planning for the city to function on mainly natural resources.
They are pioneers on green living, and more cities around the world are trying to follow suit.
5. Shanghai, China
One of the most populous cities in the world, Shanghai counts over 24 million people. As the city has grown rapidly, it had to readjust in order to accommodate everyone. They built a massive financial center that is one of the leading world economic centers.
They also created The Pudong Economic Zone, which caters to overseas investments. Since their great success in absorbing overseas capital, it has generated even more economic development in Shanghai. That in turn created jobs for their local people, so they use their local resources instead of looking to import man-power.
Their modern glass skyscrapers shine in the day and their amazing bright lights are quite a sight at nighttime.
4. Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo is not considered a “Nerd Haven” for no reason. There are so many young brainiacs that are forward-thinkers with brilliant ideas, and Tokyo is smart enough to see the potential of those youngsters.
They literally represent the future, and their innovations in robotics, automobile industries and telecommunications have made some serious strides in the last couple of years alone. They are not only keeping up with modern trends, but they invest in many startups that are more clever than the next.
We won’t forget to mention the contemporary architecture and the rising skyscrapers that house some of the world’s tallest towers. A vibrant city worth visiting at least once in this lifetime.
This city-state that carries the same name is among the fastest rising modern Asian urban centers. Since they gained their independence from the British, Japanese and Malaysian occupations in 1965, their long reigning first prime minister has laid the foundation of the city for what it became today.
Considered one of the richest cities in the world, Singapore is a place that billionaires and business people like to call home. Their education system is first class and the government one of the least corrupt in the world. They enforce their strict laws on crime, and are proud of the city planning that includes lots of sustainable, green areas.
The striving arts scene is also one of their proud accomplishments, which makes Singapore a very sought after place to live.
2. Hong Kong, China
Famous for high-density skyscrapers that tower over the city, Hong Kong actually surpasses Dubai in the number of buildings that are higher than 500 feet. The clusters of super tall buildings is the highest in the world, therefore it gives the city its futuristic vibe. It is the only city in the world who has more inhabitants that live higher than the 15 floors, that’s how many skyscrapers they own.
But in terms of technology and financial sectors they are also world leaders. School children have their fingerprints used as proof of school attendance, which is something North America has not even heard of.
Their transportation system is one of the best in the world, with enough trains, buses and ferries to cater to their highly dense population. And if you want to get some fresh air, their numerous country parks are available to anyone.
1. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Easily one of the richest cities in the world, Dubai is not only considered the world’s most futuristic city because of its many skyscrapers, but also because of its breathtaking artificial islands. Have you heard of the game Sim city? Well, Dubai has been often compared to it because of the concept the city is built on.
The Burj Khalifa and the Creek Tower (that should be completed around 2025) are the tallest buildings in the world. The appearance of those towers is so impressive that it surpasses our imaginations. Designed with futuristic appearances, they are actually part of a mixed use development meant to diversify from the oil-based economy they are renowned for throughout the world.
The strides they are making in the green economy initiative is something to keep an eye on and get our inspiration from, and this is just the beginning.
Now that we toured these futuristic cities virtually, have they made your bucket list yet? Have you visited any of them, or are you planning to any time soon?
- 15. Moscow, Russia
- 14. Toronto, Canada
- 13. Tallinn, Estonia
- 14. Bangalore, India
- 13. Amsterdam, Netherlands
- 12.Seoul, South Korea
- 9. Brasilia, Brazil
- 8. Helsinki, Finland
- 7. San Francisco, United States
- 6. Masdar, United Arab Emirates
- 5. Shanghai, China
- 4. Tokyo, Japan
- 3. Singapore
- 2. Hong Kong, China
- 1. Dubai, United Arab Emirates