Coronavirus has made city life unbearable, but this crisis isn’t the first instance of hell that has been unleashed upon large metropolis areas. For centuries, biological and natural disasters alike have ravaged global infrastructure, incurring astronomical sums of economic and societal damage. Indeed, when all of a State’s primary functions are centralized, and are immediately decimated, severe repercussions are bound to follow. However, because the digital world of tomorrow will leverage hyperconnectivity thanks to IoT technologies, instantaneous access to necessities and even luxuries will mean the concept of centralized cities will become obsolete.
In the absence of today’s instant communication and delivery services, ancient civilizations like the Greeks invented the concept of the centralized Polis (or city state) in order to maintain commerce, policy, governance, and various citizen services. But because of our modern ability to decentralize, we no longer need cities––in fact, they're dangerous. For example, cities are what cause viral epicenters, cities are what cause massive economic debts in light of ruin, cities are what drive pollution, etc. By breaking up the old Polis structure into smaller “Sub-Polis” areas (i.e–smaller cities/75% less than the original size), we can hence use the economic principle of spreading the risk, as not all major societal organs will be impacted at once in the event of catastrophe. And we’re more than capable of implementing this form of risk mitigation, thanks to IoT technologies.
By connecting multiple smaller city domains with IoT, and further augmenting these smaller centers with drone delivery and hyperfast transport (for example, in Japan they are working on such efforts to alleviate the urban/rural divide), the result then becomes a self-organized system where the entire state transforms into a Polis. This makes access to various services/amenities/needs a smooth process, and eliminates the need for centralization. Furthermore, centralization serves as a burden for far-to-reach populations, and makes a variety of living situations sub-optimal.
To conclude, the connective technologies of tomorrow mean that cities are no longer necessary. What we need instead is to leverage IoT and hyperconnective technologies in order to like dozens of sub-polis nodes together, thus spreading the risk of crisis and elevating the human experience overall.