We want everywhere we go, be and exist to be beautiful and natural. Seeing as that isn’t realistic in a modern city, where do we least care about aesthetics? Work.
Don’t get me wrong, workspaces should strive to be pleasant, relaxed and inspiring. Work is however a chore, and when you daydream about going home or going out, those places need to be more appealing.
So, work, put it underground.
With modern lighting technology, underground need not be so bad. And I don’t mean totally underground. I’m thinking major mounds surrounded by parkland. As the foundation of a city. Mounds of various shapes, sizes and heights, with parks and rivers in-between. Public and private transport can be beneath everything else…
On top of the mounds are 1 or 2 storey shops and restaurants, and 3 storey apartment blocks. Some apartment blocks are wider or narrower, but they are all 3 stories high. And every apartment block roof is communal.
Public transport consists of on-demand shuttle pods and the occasional private pod for those rich enough to need such a thing. They will get you to within 100 metres of where you are going. Above-ground will be buggies for those who aren’t able to walk.
Shops will have a maximum size restriction. This won’t be much of an issue, as most goods will be ordered online and delivered, using the same public transport system (and robots).
Above ground will be open air, with a focus on capturing rainwater through permeable surfaces. Civic centres will have roofs and temperature control, yet open at the edges.
Occasional 5 and 7 storey vertical farms will punctuate the landscape and provide fresh, local food. Meat will be grown deep down in Basementland.
All available surfaces will generate solar energy.
Suburbs will basically be self-contained, and between each suburb will be a forest, a real forest with wild animals. Sporting fields will exist near the edge and alternative culture will thrive deep within.