The world’s growing population is rapidly urbanising. More than half of us already live in cities, and by 2030 this proportion will reach 75%, making the challenges of future cities a dominant concern for government and investors.
With urbanisation and digital technology two of the most potent forces reshaping how we work and live, we need to rethink how we build new infrastructure for cities, how we live in cities, and how we make them functional, affordable, adaptable and resilient. How can we bring together socially intelligent, technologically driven systems for transport and housing, waste management and water, energy and health that make the most of new innovations and remain resilient to future needs?
The Future Cities Programme brings together academic research with commercial experience & expertise and government engagement to contribute to how we design, develop, govern and thrive in cities, addressing key issues including the urgent need to unite the academic study of the social, economic, political and technical dimensions of cities and emerging technologies to build understanding and commercial practice that can be used in developing cities for the future.
Over the next three years, the Department of Land Economy will lead the 'Future Cities' initiative which will capitalise on existing teaching, research and inter-disciplinary collaborations to embed future cities as a focus of strategic development within the University. The initiative has three interconnecting strands: an annual international conference, a visiting fellow and eight PhD research fellows.
The Annual international Future Cities Conference
Each year, the conference will bring together an expert community of academics, practitioners, decision makers – including real estate developers and investors – and policymakers from the urban sphere. It will provide a unique opportunity for creative, innovative investors and developers to look at how they can address risks and responsibilities in the context of the environment and society, how they can make the most of new technologies, and how they can discover new opportunities around future cities.
Creating a new Visiting Fellowship enables the Department to bring in an outstanding scholar and/or practitioner working in the broad field of land economy with a focus on technology, urban development and futurology, and specialist knowledge and skills in resilience and adaptability.
The Annual PhD Research Fellows
Eight PhD students are awarded research grants each year in order to develop their research and produce a research paper which will then be presented at the annual international conference on 'Future Cities'.
The programme is Led by the Department of Land Economy in collaboration with the Cambridge Forum for Sustainability and the Environment.
The Future Cities programme is funded through a generous gift from Capital & Counties Properties Plc.