What’s Driving The Future Of The Modern City? [Future of Cities]

What’s Driving The Future Of The Modern City? [Future of Cities]

PSFK Labs is showcasing 28 key trends that are helping to define the Future of Cities.

Scott Lachut, PSFK Labs
  • 20 october 2013

Imagine a downtown that changes from a commercial center during the day to a vibrant cultural district at night, and is served by transportation hubs that facilitate multiple modes of travel. The surrounding neighborhoods are comprised of mixed-use residential buildings that contain adaptable micro-units to accommodate single residents and entire families with systems that recycle grey water to support rooftop farms. The entire urban landscape becomes an interactive canvas, providing new outlets for entertainment and exchange, and reflecting the sentiment of its populace. Within this context, the actions of individual residents help positively impact the fabric of daily life, as they come together to share information, experiences and even physical goods with one another, raising the collective value of their communities.

high line

The UN estimates that by 2050 there will be 10 billion people living on the planet AND 75% of them in cities. With such a large percentage of the population predicted to be living, working and socializing in urban centers, the traditional construct of today’s cities will have to radically change to support the needs of their citizens. Current models for housing, food, education, transportation, energy and infrastructure will need to be re-imagined to sustain such large numbers of residents and allow them to thrive.


Aided by connected technologies, social platforms and flexible design thinking, many cities across the globe are already beginning to implement progressive solutions to many of these challenges. When viewed as a whole, these innovations begin to create a compelling blueprint for transforming the way urban centers are developed and how they continue to grow and operate.

Beyond access to the basic necessities, cities must aspire to provide a higher quality of life by promoting environmental initiatives, beautification projects and shared systems and encouraging citizens, public services and businesses to work together to improve their communities.


With our Future Of Cities report, PSFK Labs will contribute its point of view to this exciting conversation, showcasing 28 key trends that are helping to define the Future of Cities. To help understand their larger significance, the trends have been organized into five macro themes: Maximized Space, Sensible City, Citizen Sourced, Urban Canvas and Green Scaping. Each trend is accompanied by descriptions of best-in-class manifestations and a list of related experts that readers can tap into further conversation. We hope that this report offers inspiration for developers, planners, local governments and citizens to help remake their own cities and neighborhoods.

Full Report / Summary Presentation


Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

Design & Architecture
Technology october 21, 2016

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

Design & Architecture october 21, 2016

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online


Get PSFK's Related Report: Sports Debrief

See All
Retail october 21, 2016

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry

Related Expert

Joanne Smith

In Flight Customer Experince

Travel october 21, 2016

Become A Citizen Of The First Nation In Space

Asgardia is a new concept for a floating society above Earth

Entertainment october 21, 2016

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI october 21, 2016

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 20, 2016

Wearable Tech Expert: Designing Technology To Empower Connection To Ourselves

Billie Whitehouse, Founder of Wearable Experiments, shares her new vision for the quantified self

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Millennials october 21, 2016

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out

Food october 21, 2016

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising october 21, 2016

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Work october 21, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

Retail october 21, 2016

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children october 21, 2016

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants october 21, 2016

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology october 21, 2016

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

No search results found.