When I think of cities, I think of home. I've spent my whole life bouncing around from one to another (with a brief stint in US suburbia) so it would make sense that they're one of the main things I've decided to study in university. To me, cities have always housed an ecosystem. An urban ecosystem full of diverse organisms that come to together to make a smorgasbord of ideas, lifestyles, and talents.

During the day, the downtown streets of Toronto remind me of busy worker ants parading to and fro. Instead of lifting items 5000 times their body weight, they struggle to juggle briefcases or purses and Venti-sized Starbucks (or Tim Hortons) drinks. Instead of having their antennae perked up, twitching to read the signals sent to them by their comrades, they're being led around by long dangling headphones attached to their smartphones. Instead of climbing up giant trees, they ride elevators up and down even larger glass buildings.

At night, the urban forest doesn't rest, but as the sky grows darker in the face of the brightening city below, the two seem to switch places as building lights blink like star lights and late night drivers trace new constellations as they weave in and out of city streets, free of daytime traffic.

So, for me, the future of urban design revolves around nature, and the most important aspect of it, building strong, diverse communities. Man-made and nature-made will come together and enhance one another, shaping how residents interact, experience, and think about nature and each other. For example, through the innovative use of living walls in office spaces and university exam centers. The integration of a nature sanctuary into the very fabric of a building and social life, can offer a home away from home, purifying air quality and relieve stress. Thus, creating an inception of nature within a concrete jungle within an even larger global ecosystem, that will help to blur the line between outside and inside, nature's "silence" and the city's "noise", so that it all becomes one.

In the future, I hear a city with an equal amount of birdsong and honking horns. I see a city with more intercity bike lanes than highway lanes. More renewable energy and more thoughtful ways of using resources, like through the recycling of water in greywater systems. I see more open windows than closed doors. I see more vibrant colors and murals in unconventional places and edifices. And just as many real connections as wi-fi connections, allowing people to engage and shape their city online and offline.

This blog post is a part of Design Blogger Competition organized by CGTrader. #designforfuture