The 12 trends are not equally applicable or desirable for all cities. They cover most of the domains of a city and touch on the main changes emerging from the pandemic. However, we do not suggest that all these trends form a recipe for every city – after all, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to city development.
These are the 12 trends we have identified:
GREEN PLANNING OF PUBLIC SPACES: Cities are being planned and designed for people, with ‘green’ streets, new corridors and public spaces as centres of social life.
SMART HEALTH COMMUNITIES: Cities develop health care ecosystems that are focused not only on diagnosing and treating sickness, but also on supporting well-being through early intervention and prevention, while leveraging digital technologies.
15-MINUTE CITY: Cities are being designed in a way that amenities and most services are within a 15-minute walking or cycling distance, creating a new neighbourhood approach.
MOBILITY: INTELLIGENT, SUSTAINABLE AND AS-A-SERVICE: Cities work towards offering digital, clean, intelligent, autonomous and intermodal mobility, with more walking and cycling spaces, where transport is commonly provided as a service.
INCLUSIVE SERVICES AND PLANNING: Cities evolve to have inclusive services and approaches, fighting inequalities by providing access to housing and infrastructure, equal rights and participation, as well as jobs and opportunities.
DIGITAL INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM: Cities attract talent, enable creativity and encourage disruptive thinking, developing themselves through an innovation model approach and a combination of physical and digital elements.
CIRCULAR ECONOMY AND PRODUCING LOCALLY: Cities adopt circular models based on a healthy circulation of resources, and on principles of sharing, reusing and restoration, with an emphasis on limiting municipal waste volumes and on producing locally – for instance, by urban farming.
SMART AND SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS AND INFRASTRUCTURE: Cities aim to have regenerated buildings; they leverage data to optimise energy consumption and the use and management of resources in buildings and utilities: waste, water and energy.
MASS PARTICIPATION: Cities evolve to be human-centred and designed by and for their citizens, promoting mass participation by the ecosystem in a collaborative process and following open government policies.
CITY OPERATIONS THROUGH AI: Cities adopt automated processes and operations (orchestrated by a city platform) and are following data-driven planning approaches.
CYBERSECURITY AND PRIVACY AWARENESS: Cities strive to promote awareness of the importance of data privacy and preparedness for the impact of cyberattacks since data will be an important city commodity.
SURVEILLANCE AND PREDICTIVE POLICING THROUGH AI: Cities are leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure safety and security for their citizens while safeguarding the privacy and fundamental human rights.
Trend 1: GREEN PLANNING OF PUBLIC SPACES
Cities need to be planned and designed for people, with ‘green’ streets, new corridors and public spaces as centres of social life.