Here are 3 predictions for 2019 with Nikolas Badminton presented on CTV Your Morning in December 2018. Smart cities, renewable energy, and changes in retail are discussed.According to futurist\u00a0Nikolas Badminton, 2019 is going to be a big year! It will see the rise of smart cities, zero-energy homes and a major shakeup to the retail sector.RISE OF SMART CITIESBig tech companies will be urging cities, especially megacities, to increase their investment in data, connectivity and autonomous systems to create programmable cities.We\u2019re already seeing this play out in Toronto, with Google\u2019s plan to develop the city\u2019s waterfront and feature all kinds of technology infused with artificial intelligence and data collection.Full technical details have yet to be released but Quayside\u2019s digital streets could be curbless, able to expand and contract the area open to motorists. The new plan shows cyclists, pedestrians and the transit system will get their own bridges.Google is very much imagining the cities of the future operating with almost no privately-owned cars. Instead, there will be a \u201cmobility system that is safer and more convenient than the private car at much lower cost.\u201d Quayside could become a testbed for autonomous \u201ctaxibots\u201d likely to be supplied by fellow Alphabet unit Waymo.It\u2019s not just Toronto, either. Over 1,000 smart city pilot projects are ready for or are under construction worldwide and China is home to about 500 of them, covering big and small cities, according to a report by Deloitte.The global smart cities market is expected to surpass $3.48-trillion in 2026, according to\u00a0Persistence Market Research.ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND RENEWABLES2019 will see the rise of \u201cnet zero\u201d homes and residences. In other words, they are homes with no energy bills.The Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to a clean energy and low-carbon future, concluded that building net-zero energy houses \u2014 or homes with no monthly electricity bill \u2014 didn\u2019t cost much more than building an ordinary house. Estimates were 1 to 8 percent higher.How do they work? There are heat pump water heaters that heat and cool so builders don\u2019t spend money on separate heating and cooling systems. Structurally insulated panels and insulated concrete forms may cost more during construction, but they can reduce the project\u2019s costs because they require fewer tools, enable higher quality (and thus fewer defects) and faster construction times. They will also feature solar panels and more.More than 5,000 net-zero ready homes are proposed for Colorado alone.This all comes as the cost of solar power has plummeted over the past four decades, with the greatest cost reductions occurring in just the last few years.The Tesla Big Battery is also celebrating its one year anniversary, and it\u2019s proven far more efficient than the traditional generators used today.The battery stepped in to stabilize the grid when Queensland and South Australia were islanded by a major network fault caused by two lightinight strikes. Outages were suffered in every state apart from South Australia, thanks to the role of the battery.There are also technologies, including one in Squamish, BC, that can capture C02, purify it, and then turn it into clean fuel.AUTOMATION IN RETAILAs of 2020, self-service ordering kiosks will be implemented at all U.S. McDonald\u2019s locations. Other chains, including fast-casual brands like Panera and casual-dining brands like Chili\u2019s, have already embraced this trend as well.Some restaurant concepts have even automated the food-preparation process; earlier this year, NBC News profiled \u201cFlippy,\u201d a robot hamburger flipper.Other upcoming concepts include virtual restaurants which eliminate the need for full-service restaurants (and staff) by only offering home delivery. There\u2019s also Amazon\u2019s plan to use drones, or grocery stores without cashiers.This article was originally published by our friends at CTV on The Loop. You can see Nikolas talk about the future every month on Your Morning in Canada.See related posts from Nikolas:5 Predictions and Questions for 2019Isaac Asimov’s 2019 predictionsNikolas is a world-leading Futurist Speaker that drives leaders to take action in creating a better world for humanity. He promotes exponential thinking along with a critical, honest, and optimistic view that empowers you with knowledge to plan for today, tomorrow, and for the future.Contact him\u00a0to discuss how to engage and inspire your audience. You can also see more of Nikolas\u2019 thoughts on his Futurist Speaker VLOGs as he publishes them in this\u00a0Youtube playlist.Please\u00a0SUBSCRIBE\u00a0to Nikolas\u2019 Youtube channel so that you don\u2019t miss any as they come up. You can see more of his thoughts on\u00a0Linkedin, and\u00a0Twitter.