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Future Cities

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


This talk focuses on how future cities have been visualized. Within visualization there are numerous ways of constructing and communicating ideas. We will be exploring the interface when cities and the notion of the future come together. This talk, therefore, aims to contribute towards a better understanding of the power and agency of visualizations for future cities. Furthermore, it provides a framework of critical lenses - Technological Futures, Social Futures, and Global Futures - with which this material may be viewed and in doing so has two functions. Firstly, it enables us to look back over the history of how future cities have been envisioned and identify important patterns and trends to establish those ideas that have been important and endured over time. Secondly, by revealing the underlying themes and connections of these visions within a much wider body of material, it seeks to inform the production of such visualizations for future cities which have yet to be made by enhancing the knowledge of those who create them.

To think of the future as something distant from us would be to underestimate our collective role in and responsibility for it. Visions are produced as ways of expressing the ‘not-yet’, and such imagery shapes our ideas of, and intentions towards, futures. Through this process we have the ability to critically question assumptions about what futures are, who they are for, why they are desirable, and how and when they are to be brought into being. This is the significance of visions for tomorrow’s world and their relevance for our collective futures.

External organisation

NameEcole Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne