The Ten Cities Best Prepared For The Future

If your city is a clogged, smoggy, water-shortaged mess today, what do you think it's going to be like in another few decades?

10.) Pittsburgh


One of the most livable cities in the country, with smart growth, lots of universities and a diverse economy. It may have been a symbol of America's lost industry, but it looks like it's making a comeback.

Suggested By: UncleWalty, Photo Credit: Brian Donovan

9.) Chicago


Chicago is on here because of its infrastructure. Rail, counting both in the city and heading out, is almost unparalleled.

Suggested By: Neon, Photo Credit: Seth Anderson

8.) Stockholm


I'll let For Sweden explain this one.

With automatic toll-taking machines popping up everywhere and a stiff congestion tax, not only is the city prepared for commuters, its ready to brutally beat them into submission.


Suggested By: For Sweden, Photo Credit: edward stojokovic

7.) Phoenix


Water is the big issue here, but everything else looks pretty good. Reader Chris_K_F explains.

- Plenty of room to grow up and out.

- Nuclear, coal, and hydro-electric power facilities. Not to mention an ideal location for solar power.

- Forbes listed it at the top of the charts for projected job growth in the next 5 years. (possible Tesla battery facility!)

- Relatively low cost of living.

- It's finally starting to build and identify a downtown atmosphere.

- Easy to navigate grid system for roads/highways. (Also ideal for developing new public transportation systems)

- Excellent environment for anyone who loves the outdoors or cars (not a factor for everyone, but I felt it important to note here)


Suggested By: Chris_K_F, Photo Credit: Alan Stark

6.) Pyongyang


You want room to grow? Pyongyang is pretty much empty with extremely overbuilt highways.

That said, there's a reason why outsiders aren't exactly flocking to North Korea.


Suggested By: _Mécanicien, Photo Credit: Gilad Rom

5.) Ordos


This Chinese city puts Pyongyang to shame — it was built to house over a million people and now it's the largest ghost town in the world.


Suggested By: Steve Kuhn, Photo Credit:Darmon Richter

4.) Chongqing


In the mid-2000s, this somewhat remote city was the fastest growing in the world, booming up to an incredible 28 million residents in its metro area. It turns out that all that growth was backed by corruption and debt, but the city still has enough money to stay great. It's on the Yangtze, sprawl is checked by nearby mountains, and did I mention they have tons and tons of money?

Suggested By: remembers when porn was costly, Photo Credit: kudo88

3.) Shanghai


While Chongqing still represents something of potential, Shanghai is more realized. Its infrastructure in particular, as reader stigalicious explains, is noteworthy.

I go to Shanghai quite a bit for business. Their infrastructure is amazing. They have the largest metro system in the world (over 330 miles of track), elevated highways are well-designed and are everywhere, there's more than enough water to go around, and the Chinese are very good at building upwards instead of outwards. You can take a 350kph train from Shanghai to Beijing in under 5 hour and it will cost you under $50 to do so in a comfortable, quiet, and not overly-crowded train car. There's so much more real estate that has been built than there is demand, so housing prices will continue to drop for the forseeable future.

There are two VERY large airports that service Shanghai, and as long as their stupid military stops randomly closing off the airspace every morning for "drills," air is another excellent way to travel.

Pollution and non-potable water are Shanghai's (and most other Chinese city's) biggest problems. Water is non-potable, so everyone boils their water before drinking. Tea is obviously very popular. Pollution has gotten a bit better this year, but there's still a very long way to go. The last time I was there a couple months ago was the cleanest I've ever seen: BLUE SKIES!!!


Suggested By: stigalicious, Photo Credit: picfile

2.) Calgary


The tar sands are making Alberta rich, and while Calgary might not be the nicest city, it is prepared. JohnnyWasASchoolBoy explains.

As much as I don't like the city I'll nominate Calgary Alberta. It has regularly upgraded and expanded its airport. Their major arterial routes (Stony Trail, Shaganappi Trail... really all the roads with "Trail" in the name) have been upgraded or are in the process of being upgraded. The City is encouraging major infill in its downtown and beltline - lots of people living in denser surroundings, using fewer cars, being more walkable, and placing fewer demands on hard-surface infrastructure. There has been a serious investment in both Arts and Culture, and sports & recreation facilities. They are taking pains to ensure that green space is preserved where they can.

Calgary really does have a great hold on the next 30 - 50 years.

Suggested By: JohnnyWasASchoolBoy, Photo Credit: Michael Gil

1.) Vienna


Leave it to the Europeans to maintain a healthy, well-run city with lots of services and public transport. Reader Alex87f is pretty familiar with the surprisingly beautiful Austrian capital.

Lived there for a year and a half, and I loved it. And it's pretty well prepared, since it has:

-Very good public transportation: Bus / Tram and Subways, all of which are very good, cover the whole city and are rather cheap

-Lots of room: About the size of Paris, with 5 times less people, that leaves room for the millions to come

-Decent healthcare (though that's country-driven)

-Very good levels of safety, which is a good start for a safe future

-It's next to the "near" eastern Europe, which will grow considerably in the next future, and it's therefore in a good position to take advantage of this.

-Water in the Alps! And Europe's largest river passes through the city

And the Alps are only a couple hundred kilometers away, with plenty of fun roads available!


Suggested By: Alex87f, Photo Credit: Igor

Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!


Photo Credit: Clemont Belludy

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