Moonshot makes cities logical

USA (San Francisco)

We’re struggling to house people sustainably. Rents have gone crazy high in cities from San Francisco to London, housing is beyond substandard in favelas and slums, and buildings are carbon-unfriendly gas-guzzlers. By 2050 our urban population is going to double, increasing by 3.3 billion. And most will be poor.

As 70% of the world’s population will live in cities, the building industry needs to go through a massive transition. To reduce the environmental footprint of buildings – which account for 40% of all carbon emissions in the US – three ex-Google engineers and a leading architect have built a platform with online-based planning applications to help architects and engineers design cities better and quicker, without wreaking havoc on the planet.

Flux is the first start up to spin out of Google[x], the semi-secret research ‘moonshot’ lab identifying the world’s most pressing problems. The software provides data about requirements of new buildings and the basic tools to design the building itself, as well as divulging information on regulations, codes, materials, and widgets that calculate emissions. This means construction can be streamlined in an efficient way, especially skyscrapers and large buildings. These analytics can be used to reimagine building design, harnessing shared knowledge and ideas to build eco-friendly homes and a sustainable future for the construction industry – ­improving the places we live and work.

Flux was mapped by Alastair Parvin, co-founder of WikiHouse in his AtlasChart Top 5. Read his full FutureHero interview here.

Written by

Lisa Goldapple, Editor, Atlas of the Future (05 August 2015)

Project leader

Nick Chim, Co-founder and CEO

Support the Atlas

We want the Atlas of the Future media platform and our event to be available to everybody, everywhere for free – always. Fancy helping us spread stories of hope and optimism to create a better tomorrow? For those able, we'd be grateful for any donation.

Creative Commons License



Take me somewhere
Take me somewhere
Data Protection Act: LOPD.
In compliance with Organic Law 15/1999, of 13 of December, on Personal Data Protection, and the development of Rules of Procedure, approved by Royal Decree 1720/2007, of 21 of December, Atlas of the Future subscribers may be required to provide Personal Data, which will be included in a file owned by Democratising The Future Society SL. Such file is duly incorporated in the Spanish Data Protection Agency and protected in compliance with the security measures established in the applicable legislation. Subscribers may exercise, at any time, their rights of access, rectification, cancellation and/or opposition regarding their Personal Data. The subscriber shall notice their will, either under written form addressed to Democratising The Future Society SL, Ref. LOPD, Calabria, 10 6-3 08015 - Barcelona (Spain) and/or by e-mail, clicking here. Also, the subscriber shall communicate Atlas of the Future any modifications of their Personal Data stored, so that the information stored by Atlas of the Future remains at all times updated and error-free.
Get World-changing projects and news in your inbox weekly.