Navigating the Innovation Gap: Are We Wrong About Urbanization?

October 5, 2017 Sara Audisho

If there’s one takeaway from what we’ve been discussing here over the past month, it’s that major cities across the globe need innovation to accommodate rapid urbanization.  

But what if we're biting off more than we can chew here? 

The UN and other development specialists have warned cities that the problems they face now will worsen in the coming decades. As urban population density increases, so will crime, congestion, pollution and so on. However, these predictions are based on the assumption that human traffic will continue flow inward to cities.

Let’s imagine another scenario: one in which urbanization actually slows. Technology has made it tremendously easier to bring the city to your doorstep in a sense. Not in a 4-star Michelin hot spot kind of way, but in a work from home and online shopping kind of way.

Delivery costs are en route to being cheaper for consumers, says logistics expert Julio Gil of UPS. Augmented reality is going to bring the city office to your living room. The reality of being able to live remotely with the same access to goods and services as city folk is nearing.

Of course, there are other less practical desires for living in a city – plenty of things to do and a chance to partake in many different activities. The ‘city life’ is not for everyone but it is everything for some.

The busyness of a metropolitan area obviously cannot be replicated in the countryside. This is a unique attribute of living in a city. In the same breath, the appeal of living in a city doesn’t always come to fruition for those who move downtown to experience it. Gil offers this insight and more in his Ted Talk below.

Suddenly feel like moving to the countryside?


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