What will big cities be like in 2025?

Ferrovial Services' One Vision project for smarter cities

Ferrovial Services’ One Vision project brings together expertise from internal and external smart cities leaders to propose five main developments that will critically change how we live by 2025.

With more than half of the world’s population located in urban centres (86 per cent in Australia), and the emergence of a complex technological ecosystem, creating sustainable economies and communities is critical. Cities must respond by transforming citizens into active participants in decision-making and in designing and building services. With citizen buy-in, cities can become smarter, sooner.

According to recent research by ESI Thoughtlab, supported by Ferrovial Services, Smarter Cities 2025: Building a Sustainable Business and Financing Plan, the transition to smart cities will occur by 2025, when the main developments will have been integrated into cities, making them better places to live.

One Vision's identified five developments are:

The role of citizens and social interaction

The role of citizens in the design, services and infrastructure of a city will become more important. Citizens will feel empowered and seek to participate in communities that work towards creating cities that meet their needs.

Electric, digital and interconnected mobility

City residents will no longer have to think about how to get somewhere; they will use technology and shared data, schedules and preferences to select a destination and time of arrival. They will also be presented with optimised multi-mode options, so they can take advantage of vehicle sharing and public transport.

Greener and energy self-sufficient cities

Research suggests that urban populations will continue to grow this century, and the key to making this possible and sustainable is for cities to gradually become self-sufficient. Empowering citizens to reduce and recycle waste, and to manage energy creation, such as by using social panels, will generate greener cities.

The future will be digital. People will seek experiences

According to this vision, global digitalisation will affect most of our day-to-day interactions, leading us to change our habits. For example, smart locks will mean we no longer have to carry our house keys around. This digitalisation will create new connections between citizens, and new communities based on common hobbies, interests and activities.

Safety and security, a cornerstone for cities

Being in your safe city will be like being ‘at home’. And in that safe city, health and wellbeing will go from optional to essential.

By 2025, citizens will be living in vastly different cities, with the opportunity to participate in designing services, infrastructure and sustainable practices that will increase the liveability of cities.