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Dreaming of the future cities

The series also puts forward 2050 visions for transport, homes, medicine, food, work and more

Architect Vincent Callebaut asks why couldn't Paris look like an Amazon rainforest?
Architect Vincent Callebaut asks why couldn't Paris look like an Amazon rainforest?

A French architect aiming to turn Paris into a green paradise by 2050 and a New Yorker working to replace concrete with living, biodegradable building materials, are among the visionaries that feature in a new documentary series that can be seen on the streaming and on-demand platform, CuriosityStream.


Narrated by the award-winning actress, Sigourney Weaver, Dream the Future calls on 100 visionary experts from around the world who are trying to create real solutions to the earth’s biggest challenges, one of them being the rise of urbanisation.


The series focuses on the areas of cities, transportation, waste, homes, medicine, food, entertainment, work, cooking and sports. “Humankind’s insatiable curiosity about the future is an essential element of who we are. It is in our DNA to look beyond today and dream about the world of tomorrow,” said John Hendricks, founder of CuriosityStream. Dream the Future represents the type of leanforward programming that ignites imagination and illuminates our world.”


The fascinating Cities episode explores how cities will be able to accommodate the one million additional people who will arrive every week by 2050 and a number of architects and experts put forward their real-world solutions as well as dreams.


For Kent Larson, director of the Changing Places Laboratory, MIT in the US, the dream is to design a harmonious city with its inhabitants. His team has developed the simulation tool, Cityscope, which allows architects to see the effects of the various components of the city in real time and test different arrangements to better meet the expectations of all stakeholders.


Meanwhile, David Benjamin, architect at The Living Lab in the US, wants to put life "at the service of an ecological city". He is passionate about living organisms and for him the city of the future will not simply integrate nature but will be partly made up of living material.


The episode also showcases the vision of French architect Vincent Callebaut who wants to build cities without waste and pollution and instead of concrete and steel use wood and bamboo that capture Co2 during growth. “I want to fight the trauma and constant anxiety of climate change,” he says.


“Now that we’ve built cities on top of nature, couldn’t we bring nature back into urban areas. Maybe imagine that tomorrow Paris could look a bit more like the Amazon rainforest.” His dream is that cities become a natural ecosystem and each neighbourhood could turn into a forest and each building into an inhabited tree.


Dream the Future’s focus on transportation features ultra-light electric vehicles, bicycles made out of wood, drones as well as a wind-powered traction system for freighters, while the homes episode looks at innovation in construction such as 3D printing, material salvaging and floating homes.


All episodes can be streamed now at

For the Cities episode, go to Cities


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