Audi's urban future is pretty bright

Turns out, the good folks at Audi aren’t nihilists. The German automaker has joined up with Columbia University researchers to make predictions about city life in 2050, when 7 billion people will be urban dwellers. The result is five potential future scenarios, and none of them involve world destruction. Or even replicants.

The project is called the Extreme Cities Project of the Audi Urban Future Initiative, and the scenarios envision cities as places where high population density forces a greater sense of collaboration and innovation, so long as turf wars don’t get in the way.

Here’s how the five ideas play out. The “Complexity” scenario specifies how density necessitates advancements in things like technology. “Generosity” is a bit of a spin-off of that scenario, forecasting cities where closer-knit communities collaborate on everything from transportation to food harvesting. “Asymmetric Mobility” describes a city where the process of moving between different modes of transportation is smooth as silk. “Migration” surmises that the concept of decades-long residency in one city will be rare, and picking up stakes and moving the family multiple times across multiple continents will become the norm. Lastly, “Transgenerational Capacity” predicts that innovation speeds because lifespans will have lengthened, allowing older city dwellers a more extensive chance to share knowledge with the young ones.

Check out Audi’s press release below. Or maybe you could just go rent Blade Runner.

By Danny King