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Visual conversations on urban futures: participatory methods to design scenarios of liveable cities

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Visualisations of future cities usually depict coherent scenarios that rarely express the complexity of urban life. Our research explores ways to articulate conflicts and diversities, rather than mitigate them, when reflecting on possible futures for urban life. We define Visual Conversations on Urban Futures as visualisations of future scenarios that utilise visual methods to generate, facilitate, and represent dialogues of multiple voices imagining possible futures for life in the city. This paper will introduce our research on this topic and reflect on a number of significant examples to draft a description of methods and processes of Visual Conversations on Urban Futures. It will then present three design experiments in which we adopted this approach in the context of interdisciplinary academic research on possible scenarios for urban futures. Finally, as this is an ongoing research project, we will suggest a number of open questions and possibilities for further practical and theoretical exploration.