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The 20 Most Futuristic Cities in the World

Now that the world has moved well into the 21st century, the idea that we’d be dressed in shiny metallic suits while flying around in hovercars seems pretty silly. Yet the concept of futuristic cities is slowly becoming a reality. Our idea of the future and how the world wants to make it happen is creating remarkable futuristic cityscapes worldwide.

Signs of the Futuristic Times

Tech startups are crucial to advancing tech within any given city. According to a study from McCombs School of Business in Texas, tech startups are drawn to places that already have specific factors. Here’s what futuristic cities have to draw tech ingenuity and future advances to some of the most cutting-edge cities on the planet:

  • Social Networking: The more opportunities a startup has for networking opportunities, especially on networks like LinkedIn and similar sites, the more likely they are to relocate there.
  • Overall Operating and Cost of Living: A city with great social networking and a reasonable or lower cost of living is another huge advantage in getting these tech visionaries to settle down there.
  • Funding Opportunities: Present, past, and future startups will always need access to funding. A city where a company can tap into multiple opportunities for funding gives these startups a big incentive to relocate there.

No factor here is more important than the other, but most startups appear to look at social networking before all else, according to the study.

Most cities recognized as futuristic meet the criteria for these startups in ways no others have been able to before. So let’s look at the 20 most futuristic cities in the world that have moved ahead of the rest of the world.

Top 20 Futuristic Cities Around the World

Many considerations can be assessed when talking about the world’s most futuristic cities. From fantastic architecture and sustainability to smart communities and growth, these cities value innovation and advancement in every way.

1. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo has always been a city to watch, especially regarding staying ahead of the tech curve. They’re known worldwide for producing some of the most significant tech-savvy minds, and it shows.

The city has some of the brightest minds in the world, and it’s a sure bet that any one of their startups has the potential to change the world. When you combine tech genius and innovative architectural achievements, it is easy to see why this city holds a firm spot on this list.

Tokyo has also invested tons of money in artificially intelligent cars and robots. In fact, some were used during the 2020 Olympics. Soon, people will be able to use smart technology for almost anything, including taking out the trash and buying groceries.

2. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

A single glance at Dubai lets visitors know that they invest in the best of everything. Their cutting-edge architecture utilizes sky bridges, they’ve created their own artificial island, and you can even enjoy a meal in the underwater restaurant.

Don’t assume that Dubai doesn’t have the technology to provide smart features for its residents and visitors. Tourism is big business, and it’s necessary to be able to offer the best, most advanced services. The city is always moving forward to be able to install and accommodate wireless and touchless tech.

While it might be tempting to assume the city relies heavily on its oil resources, its goal is to be as green as possible. The city’s leaders are looking to take it a step further by adopting blockchain tech, reducing the dependency and demands of petrol use.

3. Hong Kong, China

Gone are the days of Hong Kong needing bright, flashy signs to let the world know they’ve got fast, fun, and technological features for visitors and residents. Instead, Hong Kong has gone all-in on the tech arena.

For starters, they’ve implemented a comprehensive smart card system. It’s called the “Octopus,” and it gives users more freedom in their everyday lives. People in the city can use these cards to buy items from vending machines, take public transportation, pay for parking meters, and more with one smart card.

The city also utilizes fingerprint and identity scanners. Hong Kong is one of the world’s smartest, most automated cities. When you think about what futuristic means, you should think about Hong Kong.

4. London, England

Just like Hong Kong, London has taken the concept of using one card to accomplish many tasks. London’s version is called “The Oyster.” It can be used to make payments, use transportation, and more.

London is also serious about getting as green as possible. They have the option to use cycles throughout the city and have implemented fees for congestion charges.

5. Shanghai, China

Shanghai is to China what Wall Street is to the US. They house a vast financial center where the world’s brightest financial leaders meet with each other.

The city also houses The Pudong Economic Zone and deals mainly with overseas investment. Economic investment and development have been crucial in providing enough jobs for the city’s more than 24 million citizens.

6. Masdar, United Arab Emirates

Masdar can boast that it’s a city with zero carbon and without waste. It was successfully designed to be this way. The city features clean energy transportation and streets that are cooled using natural means.

Continuing on its incredibly green path, the city uses its solar energy and resources for nearly everything. As a result, every part of city planning is approached with a green perspective in mind.

7. Helsinki, Finland

If you’ve always wanted free wi-fi anywhere in a city, you can have it in Helsinki. This city has focused its futuristic efforts on bringing technology and social action forward for the benefit of all.

The overall health of this city’s residents is a top priority. They are the first city in the world that legalized same-sex unions and gives families extensive maternity and paternity time off.

Any city that provides the best possible education to its people while supporting them generously through life changes is trailblazing its way into the future the right way.

San Francisco

8. San Francisco, CA

It would be negligent to not mention the city many consider the birthplace of modern technology. While most people attribute any number of tech advancements to the area, San Francisco is also one of the leading cities in the US that prioritize its citizens.

Google, Apple, and other notable startups are located here. NASA also has its Ames Research Institute set up here, moving tech advancements and space project coordination into the future.

If you’re a fan of beautiful architecture, you must stroll throughout the city. They boast classic and modern architecture, both of which are often featured in design magazines.

Seoul, South Korea

9. Seoul, South Korea

If you could see what Seoul was like after the Korean War and where it is today, you’d understand why they belong in a futuristic city list. Today, the city is known as a thriving, tech-friendly place to visit and live.

Since the city was nearly a blank slate to build upon after the war, the layout is a breathtaking display of architecture, businesses, and cultural centers. Visit museums, enjoy a delicious meal, and find your favorite nightlife venue.

Don’t worry if you think you can’t fit in all the sightseeing you want to do in Seoul. The futuristic city operates 24 hours a day, ensuring they never slow down and you don’t miss a thing.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

10. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Green cities deserve a place on any futuristic cities list, and Amsterdam is no exception. They prioritize reducing emissions while looking for ways to improve their citizens’ commutes. The ultimate goal is to reduce as many harmful emissions as possible.

The city’s attitude is easygoing, promoting happier, less frantic, and de-cluttered lives. This is one of the best ways to live and can be a model for those looking for a vastly improved overall quality of life.

11. Bangalore, India

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that all of India is dry, hot, overpopulated, and underdeveloped. Bangalore is one of the world’s most innovative and technologically advanced cities!

The city boasts Bangalore Tech Park. This center supplies well-known businesses worldwide with exceptional workers at affordable prices. It has also created many jobs for its residents. You can find some of the best minds in the world working here in the biotech industry.

12. Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn was one of the first cities around the globe to install and provide free wi-fi to its residents in 2002. This shows that the understanding and advancement of technology was essential from the start.

Did you know that Skype became available through Tallinn? They also brought e-voting into the city back in 2007. Clearly, this city is a strong player in advancing tech and staying well ahead of the game.

Toronto Islands

13. Toronto, Canada

Just by being one of the most diverse cities in the world, Toronto truly represents what a futuristic city should look like. Toronto has also broken ground in the artificial intelligence arena, backing up its confidence in the tech by using it to control Canada’s financial activity.

It’s also worth noting that Toronto has some incredible architecture and a city center that rivals the energy of New York City. The area features theaters, authentic cuisine from around the world, and lively nightlife.


14. Boston, MA

Boston was one of the first US cities to use Shotspotter. While some may view this tech as old, it was cutting-edge when it came out, and Boston embraced its value in protecting people and saving lives.

The famous New England city is also known for its app, where the city’s residents can send information about graffiti, potholes, suspicious activity, and more straight to the public service department.

Of course, it’s important to mention that Boston is home to MIT. This school is a hub of technological advancement that often changes the world.

los angeles

15. Los Angeles, CA

Hollywood is reason enough to include on any futuristic city list. Few places worldwide can boast stunning special effects, body transformations, and some of the world’s most creative and talented minds.

LA has also kept up with changing technology outside of movie and television studios. For example, it’s one of the first cities to use cloud-based and mobile tech to control their street lights. The city has also created a plan to make lighting more sustainable and green, mandating that all new construction meet specific lighting qualifications.

Barcelona, Spain

16. Barcelona, Spain

Little changes for a more energy-efficient, sustainable environment can add up to some significant improvements. Barcelona has proven this by using LED street lights, smart traffic lights, chargers available at bus stops, their own open data structure, and even interactive screens for tourists or visitors to use around the city.

Interactive, accessible, and responsible methods have helped Barcelona become a futuristic city.

17. Songdo, South Korea

For anyone looking for smart tech to be a part of almost everything they do in life, Songdo is made for you. Nearly every home features robots, smart tech to connect you to everything in your home, and security and safety management. This is about as close as you get to futuristic technology in a single city.


18. New York, NY

Although New York City can’t boast some of the more impressive tech and eco-friendly changes other cities can, it’s always been the center of many other changes. It’s still a valuable center of business activity, holds itself at the center of the world’s financial markets, and features fashion, media, and political diversity unlike anywhere else.


19. Chicago, IL

Yet another city embracing technology to keep its residents safe, Chicago has implemented Shotspotter to help with law enforcement. The city has also increased the presence of security cameras to further ensure safety and the quick apprehension of criminals.

The city has also invested in environmental changes by installing software that automatically dims the street lights when they’re not necessary. Sensors have also been placed along the riverbanks to alert emergency response crews to potential flooding.

While these steps may not seem like much to the outsider, Chicago faces some unique challenges. These safety and eco-friendly steps bring Chicago onto the list for finding ways to improve its residents’ quality of life.


20. Paris, France

Paris is known for its beautiful architecture, fashion, and food, but it’s also working to become more environmentally conscious. The city has started planting its own “urban forests” in exciting locations. Soon, the city hopes to have these small green areas flourishing right next to the city’s most recognized landmarks.

The hope is to have the city covered with 50 percent green areas. It’s also interesting that the green initiative has been happening alongside 50km of newly permanent bike lanes and the Rue de Rivoli becoming car-free. At this rate, Paris won’t remain a gray, concrete city.

Find Your Own Futuristic Cities

While this list features some fantastic initiatives and implementation of technological advancements, many cities worldwide contribute to futuristic efforts every day. Visiting any of these cities will amaze and inspire any tourist or visitor.

Don’t forget that your city may be attempting to create a futuristic environment for you to enjoy. So no matter where you are, always keep an eye out for the new tech, eco-friendly, and architectural changes around you. You’re sure to find some unexpected futuristic efforts in places you’d least expect to!

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Lily Wordsmith

Written by Lily Wordsmith

Lily Wordsmith is a freelance writer who has had a love affair with the written word for decades. You can find her writing blog posts and articles while sitting under a tree at the local park watching her kids play, or typing away on her tablet in line at the DMV. In addition to her freelance career, she is pursuing ebook writing with an ever-growing repertoire of witty ebooks to her name. Her diversity is boundless, and she has written about everything from astrobotany to zookeepers. Her real passions are her family, baking desserts and all things luxe.

Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith

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