At the annual Future In Review conference, one of the most interesting presentations was that by Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute, reviewing their future of energy study that was chronicled in their report and book, Reinventing Fire. In brief, Amory explained in his dispassionate, engineering style, that it is possible to grow the U.S. economy by 158% by 2050, while completely phasing out the use of oil, coal and nuclear power, keeping the amount of natural gas we use steady, and relying instead on renewable energy and distributed grids using no newly invented technology. This could be done at a savings, according to the RMI study, of $5 Trillion. Below is an infographic created by RMI that sums up their scenario for how such a future will be created. The question is, is this a possible or a probable future?
I recently came across a series of articles by Future Cape Town, a media movement and urban consultancy founded by Rashiq Fataar in 2010.
The beginning of the About page on the Future Cape Town website starts “With our roots firmly in the present, and eyes on the full potential of the city we live, play and work in, Future Cape Town is a diverse collection of minds that are driven by sustainable and innovative ways to address modern urban design challenges.” Awesome. This is a group that is actually creating the future they want.
Future Cape Town invests a lot in its social media. They realize the importance of ideas being easily communicated and the value of viral information. An example of this is the article 7 Big Ideas for Cape Town: Who Will Champion Them?. Inviting participants with its title, this article gives detailed information about 7 great ideas for creating a better city.
Why aren’t we all throwing out detailed ideas about how to improve our cities? Better yet, why aren’t we getting involved in implementing those ideas in our own neighborhoods?
It seems that architects are designing future cities to fit certain ecological standards. That doesn’t mean their designs are anything short of extraordinary and fantastical. Be sure to click through the slideshow here to see more breathtaking architectural visions from around the world.
Glen Hiemstra is a futurist, author, speaker, consultant, Founder of Futurist.com, and founder and Curator of DoTheFuture.com. To arrange for a speech, workshop or consultation contact Futurist.com.