4 Smart City Trends Shaping the Future

Imagine the future.

Don’t just think of it, really immerse yourself in the possibilities. What does this future world look like? What does it sound like? And how did society get there?

Now bring yourself back to the present.

With smart cities on the rise, that world you imagined may not be as far off as you think. Civil engineers are some of the most forward-thinking minds of this generation. Their choices and actions can shape the future of the profession and the built environment.

The world holds endless possibilities. Now’s your chance to explore them with these four smart city trends shaping the future:

The Need to Strategize for Uncertainty

By 2070, the world we know will be completely different. Technological advances and environmental challenges will determine how cities evolve. As world builders, civil engineers serve present and future societies. While it’s impossible to predict the future, engineers can strategize for uncertainty with proactive problem-solving.

David Odeh, principal at Odeh Engineers, discusses the bold Future World Vision project and how it can help civil engineers solve tomorrow’s problems today.

The Rise of Shared Mobility

As societal needs shift, new forms of transportation emerge. In recent years, shared mobility has created more options for people to get around. It’s more than ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft. The classification has grown to include E-bikes and dockless scooters. But how will these new forms of transportation affect the future?

Kristin Musulin, senior editor at Smart Cities Dive, discusses how shared mobility is reshaping cities, and the challenges civil engineers face in keeping up with this growing trend.

Reimagining Our Roads

Three-fourths of the world’s population is projected to live in urban areas by 2050. As smart cities develop, it’s safe to say that transportation engineers have a busy road ahead. A society’s ability to connect is dependent on how infrastructure supports transit. Not only will engineers have to consider new forms of transport, but they will also have to make sure streets are more accessible and resilient to evolving communities.

Jeremy Chrzan, a multimodal design practice lead at Toole Design, discusses how civil engineers are redefining city roads.

Saving With Sustainability

The idea of smart cities is linked with sustainable and resilient infrastructure. For years, civil engineers have been working to build a sustainable world. But sometimes that mission is set back by the belief that sustainability means sacrifice. Business leaders often struggle to adopt the concept into their practices. They fail to realize that it’s much more than “the right thing to do” – it can be a real money maker.

Bob Willard of Sustainability Advantage discusses how sustainability can grow businesses financially, and he defines civil engineers’ roles as agents for change.

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  1. As an engineer who has placed an emphasis on transportation and environmental sustainability, I’d just like to say the interviews with those involved with transportation and sustainability were very good. Kudos to all who participated.


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