Traces of Change: Megatrend Urbanization

You read a lot about them: urbanization. When this megatrend is over, people are increasingly drawn to the cities. Rural areas as we still know them today will therefore be a thing of the past in the future. A trend that encourages a rethink, both to make rural areas more attractive again and to prepare cities for the onslaught.

For the first time in our history, more than half of the world’s population lives in the cities. By 2050, the figure is expected to reach 75%. The dynamism behind this trend is extremely high and demands a new way of life and culture from the big cities. They are becoming more networked, more diverse, but also more confusing.

The cities of the future must be adaptable, but must also be designed to withstand this onslaught. New concepts must therefore shape the cities of tomorrow.


Urban Farming

Urban farming is about much more than growing plants on the balcony. Completely new residential and building concepts are currently under development, which will not only bring green back into the city, but will also completely change the image of our megacities.

FEEDING THE FUTURE New York City’s Experiment in Urban Agriculture (Source: NRDCflix)


Green skyscrapers with fresh food, drones that harvest it and bring it directly to us. These are only a few future scenarios as they are currently being developed. Not too unrealistic, considering how the relationship between urban and rural areas will change.


Smart Cities and Connected Cities

Dates are the oil of the 21st century is always said. The increasing data revolution is therefore not passing our cities either. The merging of modern data technologies with the processes of cities creates the often mentioned Smart Cities. Sensors and wireless connections bring all processes together. The Internet of Everything supports this development and helps to keep the ever-increasing flows of people and traffic under control.

Smart Cities are Connected Cities (Source: Mastercard)


Despite an increasing complexity, life in the cities becomes plannable and controllable. Processes become more efficient and energy consumption is controlled. The future of cities is thus networked.

Rural attractiveness

With the increasing popularity of cities, not only the number of inhabitants but also rents are increasing. For this reason alone, rural areas will again increasingly come to the fore. For many regions there will therefore be a future as an extension of urban space. This is also an obvious development.

Alexander Pinker at the Architecture Workshop of Silicon Vilstal

With actions like our Silicon Vilstal we try to bring exactly this development to the fore. Rural areas have a lot to offer and with the constantly developing infrastructure, they are becoming increasingly attractive. Many villages will experience an urban revolution, as happened in Silicon Valley. Cafes, theatres and above all coffee shops provide an additional attraction for the city’s population.


Cities for the people

In ever more crowded cities, cars are a thing of the past. For example, some futurologists predict that the car-friendly city will soon be obsolete and the quality of life of its inhabitants will once again be the focus of attention. The human need before mobility. Whether this can be implemented in this way, I personally take a critical view, but I think that the type of transportation will change.

P2P carsharing and the evolution of private mobility (Source:TEDx)


With the megatrend of the sharing economy in sight, solutions such as Drive Now or Car2Go are becoming increasingly popular. I don’t think everyone in a city will have their own car in a few years, but whether it will work almost without cars, at least in German cities, remains to be doubted.

Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker is an innovation profiler, future strategist and media expert who helps companies understand the opportunities behind technologies such as artificial intelligence for the next five to ten years. He is the founder of the consulting firm "Alexander Pinker - Innovation Profiling", the innovation marketing agency "innovate! communication" and the news platform "Medialist Innovation". He is also the author of three books and a lecturer at the Technical University of Würzburg-Schweinfurt.

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