Lisa A. Chase, Writer and Editor, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
The future lies in the world’s cities. For an expanding and increasingly mobile global population, for policy-makers, developers and designers, the focus is on the urban landscape. Yet the prospect of more than half the world’s projected 9 billion people living, working and doing business in cities from New York to Shanghai presents daunting challenges. By 2030, twelve megacities will each be home to more than 20 million people. Yet municipal governments in both highly industrialized and developing economies are financially and politically constrained in their ability to accommodate these rapidly expanding populations. Simultaneously, the planet faces critical natural resource scarcity and potentially devastating climate-related impacts. How can urban planners, politicians and designers reconcile these competing and conflicting trends to craft cities that are vibrant, efficient, socially and environmentally sustainable?
On December 13 at London’s historic Tobacco Dock, RE.WORK Cities will explore these questions and present provocative – and potentially surprising – solutions for crafting the 21st century urban landscape. Moderators including The Guardian‘s Jemima Kiss and the BBC’s Simon Frantz, along with thought-leaders from academia, business and the public sector, will explore how design and technology are shaping intelligently designed, highly livable and environmentally balanced cities. Policy-makers, entrepreneurial technologists and designers including Mischa Dohler of Kings College London, theThings.io founder Marc Pous and Carlo Ratti, Director of MIT’s SENSEable City Lab, along with luminaries from Columbia University, the BBC and IBM will envision the future of the global built environment. Presentation topics will include the future of urban mobility, environmental efficiency and sustainability, the role of the internet in creating smarter and more equitable cities, and the concept of the urban center as a living, breathing, biological ecosystem.
While increased urbanisation challenges cities to provide resilient infrastructure and public services while reducing natural resource use and environmental impacts, RE.WORK Cities will showcase the rich potential to create more efficient, socially and environmentally equitable urban spaces. The focus at RE.WORK Cities will be on creative and intellectually collaborative solutions, rather than high-volume keynote speeches and personalities. The global challenges are urgent, the possibilities are limitless, and the future of the world’s cities will be shaped by bold and disruptive thinking. RE.WORK Cities is your chance to be part of the 21st century urban solution.