Today's electric grid, and cities, were built in a way that is incompatible with the future.
Today's electric grid, and cities, are efficient, but not particularly secure. Urban dependence on the one-day shipping economy and failing electric grid has bred great vulnerability for urban inhabitants - should that global delivery system fail for a period of more than three months, cities will die. Rural populations are more secure. Given current political divides, this could mean political catastrophe.
Knowledge increasingly is stored digitally, but is vulnerable to inevitable electromagnetic radiation events.
This knowledge loss risk results from technological dependence in the face of black swan events. This does not mean technology or innovation is not great. It means we should hedge our exposure to technological advances by making our cities more fractal (principally - distributed, modular, and beautiful.) This starts with making electricity more fractal.
In the words of Geoffrey West, parts of Cities do not follow biological scaling laws, and create super-linear scaling with respect to risk of crime and disease, for example. This can be remedied by making cities more fractal. Seriously.
Tomorrow's city will be defined as “a bounded, modular, and distributed unit of humans capable of indefinite self sustenance and replication." Every TinyCity, from a size of 2 people to 8 Million people will be capable of rebuilding humanity based on retained human knowledge in the event of catastrophe (in a SCUBE).
The Titanic (the most advanced technology at the time) did not have enough lifeboats. It also was not in an armada of ships. We are designing scaling layers of Cities that act as an armada of ships, each with lifeboats and life jackets for when we hit a metaphorical iceberg.
That is the simple part. Copy nature's more elegant structures, including quantum physics (fractality).
Open, closed, and partial open closed microgrids inside of everyday household objects. S-CUBED, S^3, SCUBE. Sustainable Solar Survival in a Faraday cube that doubles as your coffee table, and your personal audio system.
Community Adaptation is driving the change in what it means to be a city in tomorrow's economy. Is a city in a box a city at all?