“We humans are social beings… Whether we like it or not, there is hardly a moment of our lives when we do not benefit from others’ activities. For this reason, it is hardly surprising that most of our happiness arises in the context of our relationships with others.”
– Dalai Lama
As a burgeoning real estate developer, my vision for the city of the future lies in the premise that people are at their best when their social nature is respected and encouraged.
To do this, the city of the future is one that must harness the technologies we use to expand our communication across great distances to inspire closer connections with neighboring individuals and businesses. In my view, the city of the future begins with its buildings – smart buildings that must be multi-functional and sustainable. They should be solar-powered, with green roofs to combat urban heat islands and help filter air pollutants. But most importantly, the buildings should foster communication and interaction between residents – they should offer more than a place to live, but a community as well.
These buildings will create an active community via a mobile application that alerts residents to the activities taking place (and the people participating in them) in the various shred spaces found on each floor – in the cinema, the garden, the fitness room, in meeting rooms and lounges. Residents will engage the community in their favorite hobbies by using the application to create in-house activities they’ll lead, or residents can explore new interests with others. The application will also be geared toward crowdsourcing community support of all kinds – from helping to network young families to babysitters, to ensuring ill residents have food and visitors, to finding the right tools for home repairs.
I believe buildings that use technology to draw residents out of the seclusion that has been an unintended consequence of our tech-forward times will be at the center of social revitalization in the cities of the future. I imagine these individual communities joining with other community-centered residences, weaving into a larger, socially-oriented network for the public and private sectors. In the city of the future, smart buildings will ensure that people are aware of the opportunities and people that surround them, making life so much richer than just commuting to and from work.
Happily, the time for these new cities is dawning, and I envision myself blazing the path to their realization by founding the first such community-centered residence buildings in my home country. Israel, the start-up nation, is a young country with a technological edge, entrepreneurial values, and the will to do things differently than they’ve been done before – Israelis like me are willing to takes chances to contribute positively to the rest of the world.
In Israel, especially in peripheral cities like Afula where the city’s identity is yet to be defined, there is massive potential to pilot these projects and then scale them for existing urban centers, until community-centered real estate takes hold as a global ideal. With IE’s world-class curriculum in real estate and entrepreneurship, I can build the skill set to pioneer innovation in real estate that will make communities the backbone of tomorrow’s cities.