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Future of Cities: Thinking for the long-term

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Presentation by Sir Mark Walport at the York Festival of Ideas - 19 June 2015.

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Future of Cities: Thinking for the long-term

  1. 1. Future of Cities: Thinking for the long-term Sir Mark Walport Chief Scientific Adviser to HM Government credit: kaorihf/CC0 1.0
  2. 2. British Science Festival 1950 UNICEF Urban Population Map (2012) 2 30% Urban. global pop. 40% Urban. global pop. 1980 52% Urban. global pop. 2010 61% Urban. global pop. 2030 2050 72% Urban. global pop. A Changing Urban World This graphic depicts countries and territories with urban populations exceeding 100,000. Circles are scaled in proportion to urban population size.
  3. 3. British Science Festival 1950 3 2010 2030 2050 This graphic depicts countries and territories with urban populations exceeding 100,000. Circles are scaled in proportion to urban population size. And looking closer at Europe... UNICEF Urban Population Map (2012)
  4. 4. 4 Foresight Future of Cities Cities matter as places Cities are dense concentrations of people, jobs, culture, productivity British cities substantially differ in size, scale, speciality and complexity Cities are the places where policy objectives succeed or fail Housing Health Growth Employment E.g.
  5. 5. 5 Foresight Future of Cities Catalysts Improved cities enable other policy outcomes Co-creators Whitehall and cities as direct partners in policy development Amplifiers Cities bring reputation, leverage, brand to wider national policies Cities are important contributors to policy-making Graduate employment [e.g. Sheffield] Healthy lives [e.g. Bristol] Innovation & investment [e.g. Cambridge] $ ¥
  6. 6. 6 Foresight Future of Cities Cities comprise a way of thinking - ‘cities lens’ for policy challenges National policy is best when informed by local circumstances Cities and city-regions are good places to integrate policy National housing challenges has different local supply-demand realities: surplus in Liverpool, undersupply in Bristol Quality housing at local level integrates connectivity investment, employment provision, facilities, etc. e.g. housing
  7. 7. 7 Foresight Future of Cities Why now? A time of devolution The UK has been devolving powers to cities for 15 years… …the pace is now accelerating Greater London Authority created English Mayoral Referendums Manchester Devolution Deal Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill 2000 2012 2014 20152013 City deals (Waves 1 & 2) 2007 Further powers transferred to GLA
  8. 8. 8 Foresight Future of Cities Many recent reports on cities What are the prominent themes and signals about the future of our cities?
  9. 9. 9 Foresight Future of Cities Thinking about the future has a long history – some things come to pass… Ebenezer Howard, Garden City, 1902 Letchworth Garden City, 2013 Uxcester Garden City, 2015 credit: www.letchworth.com credit: Urban Design Group
  10. 10. 10 Foresight Future of Cities … others ideas to varying degrees 1979 Motopia, 1963 Post-disaster housing, 2009 © Clouds Architecture
  11. 11. What we are currently thinking: Future cities should be liveable cities 11 Foresight Future of Cities credit: London Legacy Development Corporation
  12. 12. 12 Foresight Future of Cities To realise attractive future cities, action and investment will be needed But the nature of city systems reveals some fundamental challenges for approaches for future investment
  13. 13. 13 Foresight Future of Cities Challenge 1: City systems have long cycles of impact New towns Green belts City deals GLA Service economy Railway investment Devolution Municipal bonds Car-oriented development Digital technologies Cotton trade Canals National Grid Growth of UK Ports Brownfield development Welfare state Shipbuilding Importanceofcitiesasautonomousunits 2000s1900s1800s Increasing obesity levels City networks
  14. 14. 14 Foresight Future of Cities Heritage Attractiveness of place Creative Economy Teacher attraction & retention Housing Student performance School capacity Land availability Quality urban form Employment Well-being Minimising isolation & loneliness Neighbourliness Cultural events & activitiesUniversities Innovation Economic productivity Connectivity New technology Agglomeration opportunities Short commute Strong labour marketActive travel Travel to work Challenge 2: City systems are highly interdependent ICT infrastructure
  15. 15. Thinking with a system-wide view 15 Foresight Future of Cities What do we have to do? Respond with appropriate ways of thinking NOW FUTURE Thinking with a long-term view
  16. 16. 16 How can we better support this? Foresight Future of Cities Greater availability of data is driving new analytical approaches Emerging ‘Science of Cities’ potential for Active Cities development
  17. 17. 17 Foresight Future of Cities Diversity in evidence types required Local consultation and visioning Academic reviews Workshop feedback Future trends analysis Comparative data Disruptive ideas Aspirational visions
  18. 18. 18 Foresight Future of Cities Diversity in methods required Speculative design Future projections Data analytics & modelling Major city empowerment London-centric Smaller cities focus Baseline 2037 UK national system “What-if” scenarios
  19. 19. 19 Foresight Future of Cities Include local people credit: GO-Science/OGLv3.0
  20. 20. 20 Foresight: Future of Cities “My purpose is to inquire into the influence which the progress of modern science and industry may exercise upon the planning, and particularly upon the aspect, of the Cities of the Future… The Cities of Tomorrow will be more readily susceptible to transformation and adornment than the Cities of Yesterday.” Eugene Hénard (1910) credit: Arpingstone/PD
  21. 21. Every effort has been made to trace copyright holders and to obtain their permission for the use of copyright material. We apologise for any errors or omissions in the included attributions and would be grateful if notified of any corrections that should be incorporated in future versions of this slide set. We can be contacted through contact@go-science.gsi.gov.uk . @foresightgovuk www.gov.uk/go-science

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