A kaleidoscope of 'Future City'


When seen from a space station, cities are just bundles of lights in the night. But on the streets of each city, residents shape their corners in unique ways, giving them each their own vibes, points out Urbanism consultant and author Charles R. Wolfe. Those residents have a unique claim on “their” block, perhaps more so than the corporations that own their houses or the pension funds who finance them, argues Professor Jamie Shilton. His example is a rent strike organized in Toronto (Canada).

Podcast: Strategies for Creating and Enhancing Distinctive City Culture
Speakers: Charles R. Wolfe and Steve Scher

Publication: Who owns the city?
Author: Jamie Shilton

Net Zero

What makes a city “smart” in the Anthropocene? Climate resilience, argue scholars Renee Obringer and Roshanak Nateghi. Water-smart cities specifically are needed to prevent another Day Zero (the day where the taps would have run dry, as was just barely prevented in South-Africa in 2018), argues Bloomberg’s Chris Malloy. “Smart” can also mean well-designed. Designed in a way for instance so that less people buy a car. How? JAJA-architect Robert Martin presents his case on how Copenhagen can go car-free.

Publication: What makes a city ‘smart’ in the Anthropocene? A critical review of smart cities under climate change
Authors: Renee Obringer and Roshanak Nateghi

Article: How to build a water-smart city
Author: Chris Malloy

Video: Can Copenhagen progress from being the cycling capital of the world to being a car free city?
Producer: UrbanNous

Data Commons

“Smart” technologies are infringing on city dwellers’ freedom, and they also eventually infringe on democracy. Harvard Belfer Centre Fellow Rebecca Williams explores what to look out for and what it takes for democracy to thrive despite the prevalence of these new gadgets. Professor George Washington University Professor Nina Kelsey has a different take on the intelligence of cities. She argues that cities can be more effective than nation states in creating impactful climate solutions because actors feel more empowered in their roles as makers. Finally, what is the role for data intermediaries in creating data commons? Have a look at the report by the UK's Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation.

Publication: Whose streets? Our streets!
Author: Rebecca Williams

Publication: How Cities, Commons, and the Unilateral Provision of Public Goods
Author: Nina Kelsey

Publication: Unlocking the Value of Data: Exploring the Role of Data Intermediaries
Author: Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation

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