Future-Proof Cities

Cities are the hubs and crucibles of change, both local and global. The notion of a city is also changing – not only grey areas on the map, but many other kinds of reality – peri-urban metro-scapes, regional constellations, or multi-local-global networks.

Four drawings of the stages of a city being built

There is also a strong imperative for change and transformation, towards cities of low carbon, social justice and liveable communities. Such changes are generally: inter-connected (social, technical, economic, political, cultural); complex and dynamic (beyond rational governance or analysis); and controversial (different actors with different agendas). And at a time of Pandemic-induced flux and disruption, there's a strong case for looking ahead, for exploring the dynamics of complexity and turbulence – so we look for ways to ‘future-proof the city’.

This urban transition / foresight / futures / innovation’ cross-cutting theme explores such dynamics of change: how to understand and analyse it, how to manage and plan, how to experiment and learn, how to build capacity, and how to look ahead and envision viable futures. This theme is a networking, synergistic, inter-connecting program, which involves each of the MUI themes, others inUOM, and further afield with the EU and global community: adding value, generating insights and exploring frontiers.

The Future-Proof Cities theme is led by Joe Ravetz.

The Future-Proof Cities theme is now the platform for a unique experiment on the 'collective urban intelligence'. An open community of co-authors is now working at the frontiers, building on ideas from the book Deeper City, with a 12-month ‘think-and-do-tank’, focused on practical outcomes.

Future-Proof program of open workshops & dialogues

Future-Proof background & resources