How will we live in 2040?

Published on
July 9, 2014

Where will we be living in 2040? In luxury modern buildings in towns and cities, or in small quiet villages with lots of space and facilities? With or without our own vegetable patch? Alone or with family, friends and acquaintances? How do we want to live in the future? The EU Volante project, headed by Alterra, is trying to answer questions like these in a very special way: by crowd sourcing.

The site is gathering information about people’s preferences regarding life in 2040. The researchers ask questions such as ‘who will you be living with in 2040?’ (nobody, my partner, children, parents, others), ‘what will you eat?’ (anything, flexitarian, vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian) and other questions relating to housing, work, food, free time and travel. The questions are designed to create an overall picture of how people would like to live in 2040, and how this affects the way we should organise society in the future. The survey is mainly aimed at young people (who will largely determine what the world looks like in 2040), but everyone in Europe is welcome to join in. In fact: the researchers want as many people as possible to take part.

Joske Houtkamp is coordinating the project on behalf of Alterra. “We developed this crowd sourcing tool together with the University of Edinburgh to find out how young people perceive life in Europe in 2040. We didn’t want to compile yet another boring questionnaire, but a web application with exciting visual elements. An interactive way for people to express their wishes regarding living, working, eating and leisure time. The main objective for us as researchers, is to gather information about activities that affect land use in Europe. This is what the FP7 Volante project is all about.”

If you want to take part, go to