Welcome to Design Council’s journal. This week’s entry is on future cities and addressing climate change.

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible ― St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi

Tim Stonor, Deputy Chair of Design Council on future cities
I joined a carbon reduction event a few weeks ago where, by way of introducing ourselves, we were each asked to predict the future: what did we think we would see more of in 2050 — in terms of objects, experiences and services. A neat little icebreaker if ever there was one.

Here are my top-of-the-head responses:
1. Object: Green, shaded main streets
⁃ fronted by shops at ground level with people living above them.
⁃ lined by trees that provide shade, lower air temperatures, disperse strong winds and encourage walking.
⁃ forming the centres of local neighbourhoods that are built relatively densely but that are also intensely green (green walls, green roofs, green verges.
⁃ connected into a secondary network of slow streets that people can walk, cycle and drive along.

2. Experience: Conviviality: the “Urban Buzz”
– people standing, sitting, talking and generally being present with one another, forming local communities.

3. Service: Data-driven urban planning & design
– harnessing machine learning and AI-driven algorithms to create future plans and predict their impacts.

The first two will help address the climate emergency by reducing transport emissions. The third will threaten the established authority of the architectural and urban planning professions, which will need to adapt to survive by accelerating their uptake of digital tools.

This entry was originally published on Tim’s blog — The power of the network.

The views and opinions expressed in this journal are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of Design Council.

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