Every single futuristic science fiction film depicts future cities as overly dense areas that take high-rise to the next level. Building complexes almost look like cities by themselves, and reach heights that laughably dwarf the tallest structures we have now. Any film is free to take artistic Iiberties with its vision of the future. But, when every one of them imagines the same thing does it become more accurate as a prediction of what future cities will become?
Science fiction has so far been a good barometer of what human innovation can make real given enough thought. Its predictive ability regarding socio-economic conditions, however, has repeatedly been refuted given the fact that most predictions are based on modern trends and knowledge. But, the reasoning behind building up as the only way towards the future holds more water than other hypotheses.
Take the benefits of the 2 storey home, for example, it essentially doubles the floor space of a home without having to add to the area the property occupies. This option allows owners to evade issues such as an increase in taxes, cluttering outdoor spaces, and potentially blocking walkways to name a few. It doesn’t take much encouragement for corporations to apply the same technique to gain the same benefits.
The only deterrent that keeps cities from achieving the heights most artists imagine the future to have is the technology. Current architectural techniques and the building materials available to engineers simply aren’t suited for building such towering structures. The buildings would either collapse under their own weight, or break down with the slightest adversity.
There is still hope, though; buildings higher than five storeys were a pipe dream before steel came along. Perhaps people will invent other materials that will take them to greater heights, but for now, everyone will need to be content with the residential summits of their two storey houses