Walt Disney’s EPCOT was, for many, the first glimpse of what a city of the future could look like. It may not have been the vision the man originally envisioned, but the themed land at Walt Disney World encapsulated the ideas of how the future would look through the eyes of late-seventies futurists. While it’s become little more than a curio by modern standards, it set minds alight about what society could look like in the future.
Fast-forward 40 years and some aspects of Disney’s dream have come to pass. Smart homes are slowly creeping into the mainstream as personal assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Echo talk to our Philips Hue lights or connected Sonos speakers. Devices also know a startling amount about our lives, helping organise appointments, find directions or just start our days the way we like.
Smart cities, however, are something far more intangible. Disney’s vision of a car-free city, where monorails transport people from A to B and green open spaces are plentiful, may be a dated utopian idea, but the smart city is a dream that many governments are still chasing. And in this field, one country is ahead of the curve: the island nation of Singapore.
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04 September 2017
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