Collection by Dwell

Smart Cities


As countries across the globe mobilize to address pressing issues for a growing population, we examine the notion of the “smart city” on a range of scales—from creative examples of adaptive reuse to newly imagined urban hubs—as well as case studies of its potential shortcomings. Along with reports on the new, we’ve collected a handful of utopian ideas from visionaries of the last century, reminding us that the future is never too far from the past.

A Megastructure Will Guard Manhattan From Superstorms
One plan to safeguard New York City from future damage.
A Pritzker Laureate Designs Urban Housing—for Free
Alejandro Aravena's vision for tackling the housing crisis.
How Helsinki Keeps Cool
The Finnish city continues on its path to be carbon neutral by 2050.
Masdar City: An Oasis or a Mirage?
The city of the future is slowly rising in Abu Dhabi.
Driverless Cars Hit the Road
Pilot programs in England and Sweden give semi-autonomous vehicles the green light.
Bike Sharing’s Growing Pains
As many cities’ rental programs suffer, Paris rides ahead.
Through the Looking Glass
Breakthroughs in VR hold promise for architects and designers.
Made to Measure
This 3D-printed wheelchair is completely customizable.
The Downside of Cities That Never Sleep
Each artificial light source impacts how humans and other urban animals recharge differently.
A Startup Brings the Smart City to the Village
A water purifier, energy source, and Internet hub all in one.
A Digital City Rises in Guadalajara
Mexico prepares to build up its tech industry.
A Park Rises in the Shadow of a Toronto Highway
Parks are popping up in all types of surprising places.
Gardens Will Grow Over Water
Thomas Heatherwick combines infrastructure with public space to make the world a little greener.
Buildings of the Future Will Transform Themselves
Algorithms and robots were just the beginning.
Customization Comes to the Masses
Three new startups offer software-based tools for made-to-order furniture and housewares.
How Crickets Can Solve the Pending Food Crisis
This startup is making insects look delicious.
Mushrooms: Building Blocks of the Future?
Mushrooms aren't just for eating anymore.
The Master Plans of a Modern Past
Architects have always dreamed big about city life—these iconic utopian visions bring us back to the future.