There are 23 megacities (or city states) in the world now. By 2025, it’s predicted that there will be 37. Tokyo alone is forecasted to have over 37.2 million residents by 2025, more than live in Canada. According to the United Nations, over half the world now lives in cities -  but by 2050, over 70% of the world will be urban dwellers.

In the second installment of our “8 Trends That Will Shape Humanity” series, we look at the rise of the "city state" and how the coming consolidation of humanity into cities will change life for residents of these massive urban hubs.

What is life like in the city state of the future?

One aspect of city state living is that homes will get smaller. With space at a premium, apartments and houses will shrink and become flexible, multi-purpose dwellings. Graham Hill’s Life Edited apartment is a present day model of this concept. This downsizing of personal space means that people will have to carefully consider what physical objects they keep in their homes. This is where the sharing economy comes in.

Share Everything

What is the sharing economy? It’s a growing movement that enables the sharing of personal resources amongst members. Recently estimated to be worth $3.5 billion by Forbes magazine, the sharing economy was heralded by innovators like Zipcar (a car sharing service) and Airbnb (a house and apartment sharing service). While there are numerous free sharing services, generally the sharing transaction is monetized and handled by a third party company. These sharing services have allowed members to make money by renting out things and space that would have otherwise sat unused. And people are truly sharing almost everything.

The sharing economy now includes:

  • cars

  • apartments

  • houses

  • bikes

  • food

  • household appliances

  • lawn and yard equipment

  • pets

  • clothing

  • parking spaces

  • electronics

  • media

  • tools

  • money

  • office space

With this “small scaling” of personal space, it becomes obvious that sharing will become a regular part of life for many people. It’s not too far fetched to imagine that besides food, basic clothing, toiletries, consumables and personal items, the city state resident could get by solely through sharing.

Do you think the sharing economy will take off in a big way? Leave your answer in the comments below.

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