We all know that most of our western countries have many urban cities and less rural. We also know that global warming is and will affect many of us and our lifestyles and biodiversity in countries and regions. How do you think that the urban geographical locations will look in the year 2500? What changes will there be in factors such as wildlife, vegetation, technology, our lifestyles? I am really curious!
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According to Brad Meltzer's investigation results shown in "Apocalypse in Georgia" on the TV show Decoded, events that track the predictions derived from global climate change models will result in a world where landmasses are in unrecognizable forms. For instance, 2/3 of the contiguous United States will be under ocean water with only the Rocky Mountains and parts of Georgia being elevated enough to remain above sea level. This extrapolates to greatly reduced populations world wide, along with greatly reduced landmasses, and greatly reduced technological capabilities. According to Meltzer's research (and, yes, he is primarily a fiction writer, but one who is an adept at research), any prediction for 2500 must start from the presupposition of a world 2/3s reduced from its present self and radically different.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is in Colorado, so global rescue attempts may be possible. Since the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is also in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, it is possible some technological capabilities may be salvageable and can be reconstructed in a relatively short time. It seems predictions for 2500 will need to start from near-total destruction and unrecognizable global topography. My imagination can't go as far as this, sad to say, but I can speculate that those who are left will not re-institute the industries that contribute to indoor air pollution, like synthetic counter-tops, or to the accumulation of chemical body burdens, like plasticizers.
As previous posters have touched on, the first step to answering this question is to decide what challenges people living in these environments will face in next several hundred years.
First, is pollution going to be a factor? Are humans going to be living in enclosed domes, seeking to protect themselves from rampant pollution? Or will technology have progressed to the point that all of the current pollution issues posed by the developing world will have been solved.
As the previous poster mentioned, fossil fuel reserves should be close to exhausted by 2500. Most people assume we will have discovered some super efficient alternative by then. What if clean, renewable energy never progresses to the point that it can adequately replace fossil fuels though? What if transportation becomes completely inefficient, or even regresses technologically? At that point, population centers may be focused around the centers of production and commerce.
I foresee that city areas will definitely build more high-rises and skyscrapers to accomodate the growing population, and architecture and planning will become more and more important as city planners have to address how to sustain and develop the older cities' infrastructures to keep up with their growing populations.
One major area that will have to be addressed is the issue of mass transportation. Right now many people living in suburban areas on the fringe of the major cities rely on their automobile to take them to work, but in the distant future as fossil fuel reserves are depleted and energy becomes an even more valuable resource, people may no longer have or can afford personal transportation.
I think that chances are there will either be no nature or nature will have taken over. It will depend on people. Can the buildings we have now survive? Some of them undoubtedly will. Yet the landscape will likely be unrecognizable either because humans have been wiped out or humans have taken over the last vestiges of the natural world.
I agree with the previous post - there are so many unanswerable variable that it really isn't possible to make any kind of predictions that far into the future. If climate change and population growth factors stabilize, there will still be issues of housing, transportation, and distribution of goods and services to address in some sustainable manner.
Urban areas may resemble enormous slum areas surrounding heavily protected and isolated concentrations of wealth and prosperity. Urban areas may be uninterrupted blocks of governmentally-provided housing developments with mass-transit or pedestrian walkways allowing for the minimal travel needed by individuals, as all business/education is conducted from home via computer and services/goods are provided by a small portion of the population. Urban areas may be located in colonies on the moon, Mars, or in orbiting space stations, with the Earth used as a source of resources with minimal space wasted for residential use.
If you think back to somone in the year 1500, I think you will see why this question is essentially impossible to answer. Can you imagine a person in 1520 coming anywhere close to describing the world as it is today after 500 years of technological change? I can't. Therefore, I also can't imagine that we can predict with any sort of accuracy what the world will be like in 2500.
Assuming global warming continues, it does seem likely that things will be very different than they are now in that some coastal areas will be underwater and there will be climatic changes elsewhere. But things will be very different even if global warming doesn't happen. We simply can't imagine what technological and cultural changes will occur in the next 500 years. For all we know, communications technology and things like 3D printing will change the world so much that there won't be any large cities anymore.
Does this have to include the factors of climate change such as wind patterns, ocean currents and human impact?
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