Cities of The Future

Science fiction often depicts the cities of the future as overcrowded, with space-consuming buildings, roadways and overwhelming traffic. 

This future would require vast amounts of energy and expensive real estate.

Economies around the world widely hold the overall perception that one must choose between growth and a cleaner environment—You can have one or the other, but never both. 

Until now, the development of expensive renewable energy infrastructure has not been able to pay for itself and become more efficient. Additionally, renewable infrastructure doesn’t generate the economic growth of  large projects of the past —the creation of the electric power grid, the railroad, and even internet communications infrastructure as well as the development of renewable energy infrastructure because more  Resource-efficient cities can be achieved by keeping energy demand down, which will mean less emissions, resource waste and economic efficiency.

These cities of the future offer a new era without a need for heavy extraction and processing of expensive materials needed to build renewable energy infrastructure. 

Here’s how we can achieve it —

Problems in the Modern Economy

The main problems with the modern economy are:

1. Environmental 

2. Resources

3. Uncontrolled Growth

These problems are expected to get worse as the demand for resources and city space increases.

In order to solve these problems it will be necessary to make the city infrastructure much more energy and space efficient.

1. The Environmental Problem

The global economy emits billions of tons of heat-trapping greenhouse gas annually. Many climate models suggest that global temperatures are in danger of rising between 2 and 5 degrees celsius by the end of the century unless emissions are drastically reduced. 

If new emissions are released into the atmosphere at the current rate, the rise in temperatures will likely cause crop failures, fresh-water shortages, erratic weather patterns, and rising sea levels, which will flood coastal cities.

The impact on the planet’s life, the global economy, and the standard of living could be severe.

2. The Resource Problem

Energy use is projected to rise globally nearly 50% by 2050, placing a heavy strain on resources such as non-renewable fossil fuels, natural gas, and water.

In fact, by 2030, global water demands could exceed our present water supplies by 40%, as high-quality soil becomes increasingly scarce. 

3. The Growth Problem, Lower Productivity, Economic growth and Falling EROI

Economic growth is usually generated by large increases in productivity, which has slowed down in recent years. However, the energy costs of maintaining the current infrastructure and standard of living have increased. 

The increasing infrastructure maintenance costs are the result of less energy output relative to how much it costs to extract and process the energy resources. This is what’s known as a falling (EROI) or Energy Return on Investment. The result of a falling EROI has meant that  businesses and consumers spend more of their money on energy resources and less money on their business or themselves. 

For example, many businesses spend less of their earnings on improving their product, or on the expansion of their business because of the high energy costs.  And many consumers spend their earnings on transportation fuel and energy rather than themselves, their own health and wellbeing, because high energy costs eat into their budget.

Modern Transportation Infrastructure

The infrastructure of the modern city is built largely around the automobile, creating the present environmental, resource, and economic crisis. 

Large, heavy bodies demand large vehicles and these large automobiles need wide, space-consuming roads and parking lots. Retail buildings need to be large in order to accomodate customers and shopping carts. 

Industry is the single largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions, and much of the emissions produced by industry are the result of vast amounts of resources being used in the production of city building materials.

If cities didn’t need to support so many large automobiles and buildings, these newly-built cities could be constructed using less materials, reducing emissions associated with the construction industry.

Benefits Of Infrastructure

1. Less transportation emissions

2. Less retail emissions

3. Saves fuel resources

4. Saves water resources

5. More affordable housing

6. Reduced food waste

7. Reduced water waste

8. Reduced landfill waste

9. Infrastructure funds a portion of its own construction

Solutions To The problem Of Energy Inefficient City infrastructure

1. Reducing the need for customers to drive

2. Eliminating the need for customers to enter into retail buildings

Building city infrastructure around an automated transport system will reduce the need to drive and enter into a retail building retail. The infrastructure makes use of 3 main components:

1.  Miniature automated vehicles

2. Energy efficient automated retail facilities

3. Vacuum containers or bags.

These 3 components will make the process of marketing and selling goods much more energy and resource efficient, make cities more space-efficient, ultimately making housing more affordable.

Use Of Infrastructure

To receive a delivery, a customer will first place an order over the internet.

Then an automated vehicle will move from a location to a facility where robots will place an item into the delivery vehicle. These robots will have a dispensing unit covered in thermal material and dispose of food items into reusable vacuum containers located on the customer’s delivery vehicle. It’s possible for customers to own their own personal automated vehicle that will be able to make deliveries and move between locations; or for a company vehicle to make deliveries to customers.

Some of these automated vehicles could move along guide way tracks to reduce the amount of rolling resistance and increasing fuel efficiency when compared to traditional road-based vehicles. For example, a large and heavy freight train can move a ton of freight over 400 miles on a single gallon of fuel because it encounters little rolling resistance when moving. 

The vehicles can make use of GPS and camera, radar and LIDAR sensors to help their navigation. which are already well developed and widely available. 


Interrelated Cycle

This method of transporting goods allows for less resource consumption in the marketing, transport and disposal of goods, and reduces the amount of one resource that’s needed to produce another resource, so both resources are consumed less.

For example, if it is necessary to refine a large supply of fossil fuel using electricity generated from additional fossil fuel and water, in order to power large numbers of heavy gas guzzling automobiles, then both water and fossil fuel resources will be used up and depleted to a larger degree.

However, if you don’t need to produce as much gasoline because there is no need to move as many large fuel-consuming vehicles, then you don’t need to consume as much petroleum or water resources during the production of gasoline. This results in saving both water and petroleum resources.

If it is unnecessary to build large space consuming parking lots in order to park large numbers of space-consuming vehicles, and large space-consuming retail buildings to power with electricity than you save: 

  1. Space Resources
  2. Fuel Resources
  3. Water Resources



Miniaturized automated delivery vehicles will conserve fuel resources and reduce emissions by:

  1. Making use of automated vehicles that will be made more fuel efficient by reducing their size and weight.
  2. Making use of automated vehicles that will be made more fuel efficient by using low rolling resistance guideway tracks for movement.

  Transportation fuel usage is expected to undergo a 40% increase by the 2030’s, putting an enormous strain on the world’s increasingly stressed petroleum reserves, as well as releasing massive amounts of heat trapping emissions.

Miniaturized automated delivery vehicles will save resources and reduce emissions by replacing heavy fuel-guzzling automobiles with tiny lightweight fuel-efficient delivery vehicles to move between locations, some of which will be able to move along low-rolling resistance guideways.

Miniaturized automated delivery vehicles will save water by reducing fuel consumption.

It takes 97 gallons of water to produce a gallon of fuel. So a reduction in fuel resources will save freshwater resources as well.

Thermal robot facilities save fuel resources used to make electricity and reduce emissions by:

  1. Eliminating the need for large numbers of people to travel and enter retail buildings
  2. Reducing the amount of energy used to keep perishable retail items at an ideal warm or cool temperature.
  3. Reducing Food waste.

Automated Retail Facilities Emissions Reduction, And Energy Savings

Electricity used to power commercial buildings makes up about a third of the electricity produced in the US. annually. Most of the energy used to power a retail building goes into lighting, heating, or cooling. 

Automated retail facilities made up of thermally insulated dispenser robots will mean that customers won’t need to enter into the retail facility; which also means that it won’t be necessary to use nearly as much energy resources to provide lighting for the retail facility.  This of course will have the effect of both reducing emissions associated with electrical power production, and saving increasing stressed fuel resources.

Automated Retail Facilities Save Water Resources By:

1.Reducing Food Waste

2.Keeping perishable retail items at an ideal temperature using less energy.

The use of thermally insulated dispenser robots to place items into automated delivery vehicles will keep food items stored within the robots’ thermally insulated dispensing unit at an ideal warm or cool temperature, thus drastically lowering the energy requirements for heating or cooling, which will drastically lower the amount of energy needed to keep perishable retail items at the required warm or cool temperature. This will further reduce emissions and save fuel resources.

Automated Retail Facilities Will Reduce Emissions and Save Fuel Resources Used to Produce Food

Forty percent of food that is produced annually is wasted. The carbon footprint generated from food waste rivals the carbon footprint generated by transportation.  

Food waste means that demand for food products is higher than it needs to be, which translates into more fuel resources ending up being used to produce more food than is actually necessary. 

Food production generates large amounts of heat-trapping emissions, as well as placing additional strain on the increasingly depleted fossil-fuel supply. This is because fossil fuels are needed to produce the fertilizers used to grow food, as well as transport the food products. 

A large percentage of produce is discarded for aesthetic reasons — they are either too big, too small, or oddly shaped, which makes it impossible to create a uniform arrangement of produce that is aesthetically pleasing to customers within the produce stands. 

The use of automated facilities however will mean that customers won’t need to enter into the retail building, which will mean that some of the produce that would have otherwise been discarded because of size or appearance could be saved. 

Also, thermally insulated dispenser robots can have the air vacuumed out, which will help save food within the marketing phase by preventing the food from rotting. This is why a reduction in food waste will also translate into emissions and fuel savings.

Automated Retail Facilities Save Water Resources By:

1.Reducing the cooling and water needs of electric power plants.

2.Reducing food waste.

Automated Retail Facilities Reduce the Need for Thermoelectric Cooling Which Saves Water

Efficiency is contagious . . . 

Improvements in energy efficiency will not only save fuel resources, but also save the gallons of water it will take to produce fuel.

Thermoelectric production uses freshwater. Over 40% of freshwater is dedicated to thermoelectric cooling within the United States. 

About a third of all electricity produced is used for powering commercial buildings, and cooling electric power plants. 

Retail facilities using thermal dispenser robots will save a substantial amount of freshwater resources

Automated Retail Facilities Save Water Resources by Reducing Food Waste

Wasted food accounts for around 20% of freshwater consumption and landfill volume. 

Growing food is another top consumer of water. Reducing food waste will also save water resources because it won’t be necessary to use as much water to grow food in order to meet consumer demand.

Reusable Vacuum Containers Will Save Fuel Resources and Reduce Emissions By:

  1. Save fuel and reduce emissions generated by the production of product packaging. 
  2. Reduce food waste, which reduce emissions and saves the fuel used to produce food.
  3. Reduce landfill waste, which means less emissions being released do to the decay of garbage.
  4. As an added bonus, they save water by reducing the need for product packaging.

Product packaging uses fuel resources. 

Reducing the need to produce product packaging saves the fuel that would be needed to produce paper for paper packaging, or to refine petroleum for plastic packaging — also reducing the emissions associated with the production of product packaging.

Reusable vacuum containers Reduce Food Waste Which Reduces Emissions and Saves Fuel Used to Produce Food

The main reason why consumers throw away food is because it rots and loses freshness, but the use of vacuum containers will help preserve food within its disposal phase where consumers currently throw out 25% of the food that they purchase. Used in conjunction with the dispenser robots within the automated retail facilities, vacuum packing will mean that food producers won’t need to use as much fuel resources to grow and transport food which will further reduce emissions and save fuel resources.

Reusable Vacuum Containers Reduce Landfill Waste

Vacuum containers will keep the food fresh — It won’t be thrown out, end up in a landfill, rot and release additional greenhouse gas emissions. 

Landfills are among the leading sources of human-produced methane emissions. Methane, which is 26 times more destructive than C02, is released into the atmosphere at a rate of 882 million tons of C02 equivalent each year globally.

The US releases around 163 million tons of C02 equivalent of methane into the atmosphere annually. 

Less food waste means less emissions 

Reusable Vacuum Containers Will Save Water by Reducing the Need for Product Packaging:

Reusable vacuum containers Saves Water by Reducing the Necessity to Use Water to Make Product Packaging  

It takes 38 -50 gallons of water just to produce a 1 pound roll of paper and 24 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of plastic used for the packaging of retail items. 

Reducing product packaging also saves the many gallons of water used just to produce packaging the product was sold in.

The Growth Problem, Lower Productivity, Economic growth and Falling EROI

In the past, the construction of large infrastructure resulted in increases in productivity, which in turn resulted in economic booms, which generated enough extra revenue for the funding of the infrastructure that created the economic increases.

Some examples: 

– The development of roads meant more consumers traveling to businesses and purchasing more goods. – The development of the power grid increased the supply of market goods at a lower cost.
– The development of satellite and communications infrastructure paved the way for the internet which field e-commerce, which in turn fueled more consumer spending and an economic boom. 

All of these infrastructure developments generated more earnings for businesses and the creation of extra revenue which allowed for infrastructure to fund its own construction. 

Unlike the infrastructure developments of the past, renewable energy infrastructure will generate little to no extra revenue for the economy, and thus will not pay for itself.

Automated Vehicles Will Boost the Economy By Cutting The Cost Of Transportation Fuel, Increasing Money Savings For Sellers And Consumers.

Automated vehicles will boost the economy by cutting the cost of transportation fuel which will increase money savings for sellers and consumers.

Automated delivery vehicles will allow retailers and consumers to save money by reducing costs associated with transportation fuel. The money savings that result from less fuel requirements to adequately power transportation vehicles during delivery will be spent and drive economic growth.

Automated Vehicles Reclaim Space from Parking Lots.

Dispenser Robot Will Boost the Economy by Allowing Retailers to Save Money on Their Energy Bills.

Dispenser Robots Will Boost the Economy by Allowing Retailers to save money on their energy bills. 

The money saved by the retailers will be passed on to consumers in the form of lower prices, which will allow consumers to purchase more goods and boost the economy. 

Dispenser robot facilities will:

  1. Allow retailers to save money by reducing the amount of resources needed to power retail buildings.  
  2. Help consumers by boosting the supply of affordable housing and by reclaiming lost real estate space from parking lots.

Land Use, Housing & Parking Lots

The cost of the average home has skyrocketed by 800% over the last 60 years.

Some reasons:

  1. The supply of homes is low relative to demand. 
  2. The lack of economically viable land on which to build new homes. 
  3. Parking lots and retail buildings take up large amounts of real estate space. 
  4. Many retail buildings need to be built horizontally, with wide aisles for customers to move shopping carts within and consist of just one story because it is inefficient for customers to be moving their large shopping carts up and down multiple stories.

 New retail facilities consisting of multiple stories could be constructed 

Tiny, automated vehicles will:

– Move between multiple stories without the need for wide space-consuming shopping cart lanes
– Place items into the vehicle from directly above. 

Less space to heat or cool within the retail building will translate into additional energy and money savings for retailers. 

The space consumed by parking lots and retail buildings results in higher housing prices because it creates a shortage of economically viable land for residential construction, which causes a housing supply problem and in turn drives up housing prices. 


Parking lots can be converted into residential properties by eliminating or shrinking retail buildings, increasing the supply of housing and reducing pricing.

Reusable Vacuum Containers Will Boost the Economy by Eliminating Product Packing Which Will Allow Producers To Save Money.

Reusable vacuum containers will boost the economy by eliminating product packaging which will allow producers to save money.

On average, 9% of every dollar of a market goods price is dedicated to product packaging.  By replacing product packaging with reusable containers, the price of many goods can be reduced. The lower price of market goods  will translate into consumer savings, which consumers can then invest in a higher standard of living. 

Product Packaging

The production of paper is a major cause of deforestation. 

The use of reusable containers will a help save forest space by reducing the need to produce paper.

It takes 38 -50 gallons of water just to produce a 1 pound roll of paper and 24 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of plastic, used for the packaging of retail items. 

Large quantities of fuel are required to produce the packaging for market goods —Reducing the use of product packaging by making use of automated delivery to place market goods within reusable containers will save additional resources. 

Furthermore, plastic releases methane when it decays. Methane is 86 times more potent than Co2 at trapping heat. Landfills are one of the largest sources of human made methane emissions —Reducing landfill waste will also reduce the release of methane. 

Vacuum containers may further increase the supply of affordable housing when used in conjunction with the thermal dispenser robots. 


Less food waste means less land being used for farming. 

Some agricultural land may be reclaimed and turned into residential areas, which 

further boosts housing supply, and 

further reduce housing costs.

Infrastructure that Pays for Itself
The automated delivery infrastructure can fund a sizable portion of its own construction by:

  1. Lowering prices for business and consumers by generating energy and resource savings.
  2. Generating savings by using less materials to construct new cities.
  3. Automated Delivery Will Pay for Itself by Allowing Business And Consumers To Save More Money.

Cumulative energy and resource savings from:  

  1. Use of automated vehicles
  2. Dispenser robots
  3. Energy efficient retail facilities
  4. Vacuum bags and containers amongst retailers 

Which will translate into: 

  1. Money savings passed onto consumers in the form of lower prices
  2. Consumer investment of those savings
  3. Economic growth
  4. The growth that results from increased spending could also increase tax revenue 

Funding the development of automated infrastructure

Automated Delivery Will Pay for Itself By Generating Savings on The Construction of New Buildings.

The construction of cities is the main driver of emissions related to industry. Industry is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions according to many studies. 

Each year a city the size of Berlin is constructed.

Fuel resources and money are used for extracting and processing all of the building materials such as concrete, tarmac and steel that are needed to construct the new city areas. 


Automated delivery can take drivers off the roads 

Retail buildings can be made more space efficient — Less fuel, money and building materials used in the construction. 

This would mean even more money and resource savings which will be spent and/or invested in order to increase economic growth which would create yet another revenue stream of business earnings and/or tax revenue which could be used to help pay for the development of the infrastructure.

Renewable Energy Infrastructure Doesn’t Fund Its Own Construction

There’s no doubt that renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power should be developed further and used more often, but one of the major drawbacks to wind and solar energy sources is that the infrastructure for renewable energy doesn’t pay for itself.

Renewable energy doesn’t boost productivity because it can’t substantially increase the supply of energy at a low enough cost. 

There is no lowering of consumer prices, and no money saved, which stifles consumer or business spending and investing.

 And no substantial increase in revenues and no extra supply of money for the renewable energy infrastructure to pay for itself.

Renewable energy infrastructure could be made more affordable by improving energy efficiency within the city’s transportation and retail infrastructure which will increase money revenues within the economy.

Automated delivery improves energy and resource efficiency, helping build renewable energy infrastructure more affordably. 

The increase in money revenues could be used to help pay for the construction of the renewable energy infrastructure and increase the supply of clean energy.

For example, it takes fuel and water to grow the crops that feed livestock, and then it takes additional fuel to process the meat of the livestock. More fuel is needed to produce the package that the meat is sold within. All of this consumes resources within the production phase. More fuel is used to transport the meat to the supermarket which means fuel is consumed within the distribution phase. Fuel is needed to provide power and refrigeration at the supermarket where the meat product is sold; which means resource use within the marketing phase. The consumer then drives their vehicle to the supermarket to purchase the meat product and then transport their purchased item which weighs less than a couple of pounds back to their home within a vehicle which weighs thousands of pounds; which in turn uses fuel within the consumption phase. And finally there are many cases where a portion of the meat is thrown away, the package and shopping bag that contained the product is also discarded and fuel is used to transport it all to a landfill which consumes fuel within the disposal phase.  Everything that was placed in the landfill decomposes, and releases additional greenhouse gasses.  

And because resources are used within an interconnected cycle of production and consumption, any phase that makes use of petrol or electricity will also use up water because lots of water is needed to produce usable fuel.


Another problem that threatens our standard of living is the rising cost of housing. And one major  factor that is causing a housing supply shortage is increasing labor costs which is caused by a labor shortage.

A labor shortage coupled with increasing demand has created a sharp increase in housing prices. The price of the average American home has increased by 811.70% between the years of 1967 and 2021 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The housing market typically makes up 15-18% of the US GDP, and often contributes well over a trillion dollars in yearly revenue to the United States. Over half of Canada’s GDP gain could be attributed to housing and real estate transactions in 2019.

However, housing prices have been increasing within recent years as the population has increased and increasing numbers of people have been priced out of the housing market. As the population increases housing prices will continue to rise.

Furthermore, natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires have caused an estimated  of damage over the last 5 years. Many houses and buildings around the world are ruined by war or made up of aged buildings that are falling apart and/or dated.



Most market goods can more easily be made cheaper than new homes and buildings because most market goods are smaller and easier to mass produce through automation. Supply sold in the marketplace can keep pace with demand sell cheaper at retail. 

The mass production of houses and buildings currently requires a large amount of manual labor— expensive and time consuming. 

As a result, the low supply of houses added to the high labor construction costs, makes house  prices too expensive.


The automation of housing and building construction will allow for building costs to go down, lowering real estate prices.

Buildings ruined by natural disasters or war can be reconstructed quickly while saving on labor costs. 

The use of robotics will also allow for aged housing and buildings that are dated or falling apart to be rebuilt quickly and affordably.


Machinery to Automate Construction

  1. Building Framing Machines
  2. Guideway-based dispenser robots

(1) Building framing machines construct frames for a variety of buildings.

(2) Guideway-based dispensing robots can load stacks and/or bundles of building materials such as plywood, dry wall or glass windows into their dispensing units and then move along their guide ways while stopping to attach building materials to the building frame. 

Construction Dispensing Robots will have the ability to place multiple building pieces while simultaneously remaining highly maneuverable. This will make the construction of building frame pieces much faster and more efficient.


Building Framers are highly specialized. 

To use a building framing machine one must first load the machine with all of the top horizontally positioned planks that make up the building frame piece. Next, load these vertically positioned planks into specialized holders located on one end of the machine, and then load the machine with their bottom horizontally positioned planks that make up the building frame piece. The plank holders and the vertically positioned planks within the building framer will then slide down the length of the machine into their desired location. Nail guns will nail all the planks that make up the house frame piece into place.


Dispenser robots self-load their dispensing units with building materials. It’s also possible for a dry wall dispensing robot to self-load its dispensing unit with a stack of drywall, and for a window dispensing robot to self-load its dispensing unit with a stack of windows; and for wood, glass, door, insulation, and other types of dispenser robots to self-load their dispensing units with stacks of the necessary building materials.

The Dispenser Robots can then move along a guideway track next to the Building Framer and the stick frame piece within it. The robots will attach building materials to the stick or building frame piece within the building frame machine as it moves along the guide way track. Mechanical devices such as nail guns, conveyors, or robotic appendages can be used to securely attach the building materials to the stick frame piece.


– Automated Building Construction

– The dry wall dispenser robot E is in the process of attaching drywall pieces to the stick frame of a stick frame piece that is located within the house frame machine A.

– Mechanical devices will be attached to the plaster dispenser robot F and will spread plaster onto the drywall pieces of a house frame piece.

– The dry wall dispenser robot attached any wall pieces to the stick frame wall piece that is located within the house frame machine A and has moved past the machine which made room for the plaster dispenser robot F.

– The city of the future and the technology used to build it will mean a sustainable environment and economy for everyone.