The World's Most Futuristic Cities

Our modern cityscapes are unlike anything we could’ve imagined a hundred years ago. Technology has moved faster than at any other time on earth, changing the way we live irrevocably. Here are a few places you can visit today that give some insight into what tomorrow may hold.

  • 1. Tokyo

    It should come as no surprise that the country most associated with forward-thinking technology throughout the latter half of the 20th century still has a futuristic looking capital. Tokyo’s fast-moving, densely populated streets glow under neon advertising lights reminiscent of a Ridley Scott movie, and the addition of the Skytree tower, the tallest tower in the world, in 2012 adds to the imposing feel of the city. Oh, and it also has a giant walking robot.
  • 2. Brasilia

    Brasilia is a South American utopia, a wonder of urban planning whose design, largely thanks to visionary architect Oscar Niemeyer, still looks ahead of its time today. Built in the 1950s with the rare luxury of vast amounts of space to work in, Niemeyer’s futuristic buildings swoop and curve rather than jolt upwards like so many modern developments. The result is a vision of a parallel world, a sci-fi blueprint of how all our cities could’ve looked.
  • 3. Abu Dhabi

    United Arab Emirates
    The line of history is easy to trace in places like London. Growth and building happen organically over time, with each new generation making their contribution to the patchwork design of the area. But what happens when a city suddenly appears from a standing start, built with tomorrow in mind as much as today? Abu Dhabi is a perfect example, with clean lines, precision planning and eco-friendly technology ushering in the future for our living spaces. Ambitious new projects, such as the proposed low-carbon Masdar City, continue to be built at a rapid speed.
  • 4. Songdo

    South Korea
    While many of the places on this list are featured for their aesthetic qualities, South Korea’s Songdo, about a 30-minute drive from Seoul and a 15-minute drive from Incheon International Airport, is a new "Smart City" built with cutting-edge social technology in mind. The entire metropolis, which until a few years ago was a watery bank in the Yellow Sea, is connected through a central network, meaning every aspect of urban life, from traffic to waste disposal, is digitalised. It’s also where the video for "Gangnam Style" was shot.