We at Grist List have taken out the crystal ball that our aunt gave us in third grade and found that it actually sees into the future. And we are here to tell you: The future is pretty intense. Because cities are giant. And skyscrapers are HUGE.
Actually, our crystal ball is called Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in which Yale professor Karen Seto just published a study about the future of cities. Bryan Walsh reports at Time:
Seto and her co-authors calculate that between now and 2030, urban areas will expand by more than 463,000 sq. mi. (1.2 million sq. km). That’s equal to 20,000 U.S. football fields being paved over every day for the first few decades of this century. By then, a little less than 10% of the planet’s land cover could be urban. “There’s going to be a huge impact on biodiversity hotspots and on carbon emissions in those urban areas,” says Seto.
And those supersized cities will likely have really, really tall skyscrapers in them. We mean REALLY TALL. Like a mile.
That prediction still didn’t come from our crystal ball, but it seems to have come from someone else’s. From Bloomberg:
“If you have enough money, I’m sure the human mind can create a lot higher,” said Timothy Johnson, an architect and chairman of the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, in an interview in Shanghai yesterday. “Who are we to say it’s good or bad. People want to push higher and higher. That’s just human nature, isn’t it?”
Planning for the next milestone, a 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) building, may be under way before 2020 and completed five years after that, Johnson said, without giving further details.
We hope these places have lots of street signs, because otherwise we see in our crystal ball that you will be lost and not sure where to go in your life. But not on a spiritual level. Just to get to work.