Destinations

Here’s how major cities may look in the future

No one knows exactly what major cities will look like in the future, but it is SUPER fun to imagine.

Personally, we still like to think it will be EXACTLY how the Jetsons promised. We’ve already named our robot maid and chosen the colour of our flying car.

giphy

As for travelling BACK in time, you can do that in a city just by checking out the architecture of some of its iconic buildings.

From London’s royal residences and Rio’s favelas to New York’s skyscrapers and Bangkok’s superstructures, the history of our urban centres is writ large in bricks and mortar, glass and steel.

Budget Direct has combined the two, visualising six of the world most iconic cities, showcasing what it would look like if all their most ambitious architectural projects had become a reality.

And the results are fascinating.

New York City 

01_NYC

“The skyline of New York is a monument of a splendour that no pyramids or palaces will ever equal or approach.” So said Ayn Rand in her classic 1943 novel, The Fountainhead.

Most would agree that Manhattan’s silhouette is something special, and the city’s architectural ambition shows no signs of letting up – it’s already the second-tallest overall after Hong Kong. And should projects like the U-shaped Big Bendand the jaw-dropping Times Squared 3015 come to light, the results will be something to behold.

Bangkok

02_Bangkok

In Bangkok, life is lived in the streets. The city’s vernacular architecture, most iconically represented by the shophouse, is small-scale. Even its older statement-making structures – from the Royal Grand Palace complex to various beautiful temples (wat) – tend to be low-rise.

But since the unregulated building frenzy of the 1980s, the city now has nearly 600 skyscrapers. While the future will inevitably see more high-rises, cycle lanes cantilevered from Skytrain tracks, green spaces beneath highways and communities elevated above rising water levels all might have a place in the new ‘Venice of the East.’

Dubai

03_Dubai

Dubai practically is its skyline. This city-state seems to be as much about visible impact as it is about liveability. But the notion that Dubai emerged in the desert out of nothing isn’t quite right. Its older fabric includes the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, which dates back to the 1890s.

Since the start of its urban expansion nearly a century later, Dubai has gone stratospheric; projects that would be architectural pie-in-the-sky elsewhere have come true here. And the Burj Khalifa is really just the start. Perhaps the most stunning of Dubai’s potential future developments are the 75km Arabian Canal and the Dynamic Tower, all 420m of which will rotate.

Moscow 

04_Moscow

The Moscow skyline broods. At least, its older elements do, with the likes of onion-domed St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin, so familiar from spy movies and Cold War thrillers. But Moscow has moved on – or up.

The Soviet-era Seven Sisters were supposedly constructed by Stalin to compete with New York, and in 1992 work commenced on the Moscow City International Business Center project, which includes three of Europe’s tallest buildings. But even they would be dwarfed by Norman Foster’s outrageously ambitious Crystal Island project, which will be the largest structure on earth – if it’s ever built.

Rio de Janeiro 

05_Rio-de-Janeiro

Between Sugarloaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer, Rio is one of those instantly recognisable cities. And with classic buildings like the Copacabana Palace Hotel juxtaposed with modern masterpieces like the Museum of Modern Art, the city isn’t lacking for architectural variety.

The future of Rio sees it making use of its coastal location for marine farms and other island-based developments, while urban planners reckon that futuristic favela re-designs can provide healthy, walkable and self-organised living environments.

London

06_London

London is royal, London is religious and London is righteous – at least, that’s the story told by such iconic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. But the capital city has also become a haven for contemporary architecture.

You can give them quirky nicknames, but skyscrapers such as 30 St. Mary Axe (‘The Gherkin’) and 20 Fenchurch Street (‘The Walkie Talkie’) mean business. While the future is bound to hold a bevy of new, modern skyscrapers like Spire London, we’d like to see the Endless Vertical City come to life.

Paris 

07_Paris

The Eiffel Tower, built for the 1889 World Fair, might be the most recognisable symbol of Paris, but it’s far from the only one. The city’s incredible pre-war architecture is on display, from Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe to the gorgeous buildings of Montmartre.

And while more contemporary developments like the Centre Pompidou can hold their own, will ‘farmscrapers’ and ‘smart’ green buildings dominate this iconic skyline in the future?

With historic buildings planted squarely alongside impossible-sounding new developments, our cities are about to get a lot more interesting. What might the future of your city look like?

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Wholesalers

Wendy Wu reveals new visa “inventions” for China

by Huntley Mitchell

Wendy Wu Tours’ supremo was in Australia recently to spread the travel love and announce some whizz-bang new enhancements to the wholesaler’s offering.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cruise captain charged over tourist boat tragedy

After causing the deaths of 28 passengers on another vessel, the captain faces a nine-year jail sentence after being charged with criminal misconduct.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

The adorable (and appropriate) name given to baby born on American Airlines jetway

An American Airways flight landed with an extra passenger on Wednesday, but this little traveller was no stowaway.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

The Queen is on the hunt for a new director of royal travel

Think you’ve got what it takes to be the Queen’s travel agent? Better start practising your royal wave because now is your time to shine.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flavour of the Week: United’s big leadership changes, The Walshe Group’s new client, another ETC partnership + MORE

Having trouble keeping track of the latest hirings, firings and partnerships? Get yourself back in the loop with this.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

South African Airways to be placed into “business rescue”

The embattled airline has announced its next move in its fight against declaring bankruptcy. Find out what it means here.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent Wrap: Trafalgar’s big incentive, agents in Italy, Travel Counsellors partake in Movember + MORE!

This week’s Agent Wrap is a special fun-sized edition, meaning we cut it short so we could leave in time for Happy Hour.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Santa braves Sydney smoke haze to abseil down hotel and deliver early Christmas presents

Meanwhile, Travel Weekly’s editor will brave Sydney’s smoke haze to scale Sydney Harbour Bridge later today, dressed as Ebenezer Scrooge.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

This airline just launched its very own restaurant (serving inflight meals)

Yes, you read right. One airline has decided to play the restaurant game with its inflight cuisine, thankfully sans any surly cabin crew.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Get to know the winners from the Western Australian Tourism Awards

by Sponsored by Tourism Western Australia

Preparing a trip for your clients to the Margaret River region or the Kimberley? The first step is knowing the best tourism attractions and businesses in the industry.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Road & Rail Wrap: UK railway strike to last over Christmas, Newcastle’s new shuttle to connect aiport and Hunter Valley + MORE!

Travel Weekly’s editor skipped cycling to work this week in favour of taking Sydney’s light rail, but arrived at the office three hours late after realising it’s still not up and running.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Study reveals commonly stolen hotel items, Aman’s individual wellness programs head to Greece + MORE!

It’s that time of week again, and boy oh boy do we have a Hotel Wrap for you. Hold on to your butts, because here comes the wanderlust.

Share

CommentComments