One benefit of experience in the futures field (over 20 years for me now) is that you get to see topics take off and fade away — or never get there. For much of the last few decades, the future of cities was a topic that generated little interest among clients. The glazed-over look. Or, if we voted on topics of interest, it shored up the bottom of the list.
Until now…..There has been practically an explosion of interest in the future of cities, in particular how we are going to get around in them. The emergence of megacities with populations of more than 10 million, and now supercities with populations approaching 100 million, combined with energy issues (peak oil) and environmental issues, and values shifts favoring more liveable communities have combined to spark some fresh thinking on the future of cities…..at last.
It’s been a popular topic on the Assn of Professional Futurists listserv, where my colleagues have pointed out loads of wonderful resources. One particularly nice site features a full-blown set of very well done scenarios on urban transportation in megacities called Megacities on the Move. For a nice snapshot of current possibilities, GM has clips of its very stylish EN-V concept cars. These just scratch the surface, but high-quality work is out there. Enjoy! Andy Hines