8 CITIES THAT SHOW YOU WHAT THE FUTURE WILL LOOK LIKECITIES USED TO grow by accident. Sure, the location usually made sense—someplace defensible, on a hill or an island, or somewhere near an extractable resource or the confluence of two transport routes. But what happened next was ad hoc. The people who worked in the fort or the mines or the port or the warehouses needed places to eat, to sleep, to worship. Infrastructure threaded through the hustle and bustle—water, sewage, roads, trolleys, gas, electricity—in vast networks of improvisation. You can find planned exceptions: Alexandria, Roman colonial towns, certain districts in major Chinese cities, Haussmann’s Paris. But for the most part it was happenstance, luck, and layering the new on top of the old.Subscribe to WIRED At least, that’s the way things worked for most of human history. But around the second decade of the 20th century, things changed. Cities started to happen on purpose.