New dreams for a warming world

Instead of flying cars, cities of the future will do better with less flashy innovations in building design and materials

Last week, temperatures neared 43 deg C across Europe, where only one in 20 households has air-conditioning. Such record-breaking fits of nature are increasingly the norm. To maintain our quality of life, which is to say, civilisation, we must transform our way of life, starting with the built environment.

Yesterday's visions of the cities of tomorrow were big on bravura, with giant robots, flying cars and mile-high skyscrapers. As the principles of a more ecologically balanced architecture and urbanism take shape, it is evident that utility, not flash, will be the dominant theme.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 02, 2019, with the headline 'New dreams for a warming world'. Subscribe