With 75% of the world population predicted to be urban dwellers by 2050, urban rehabilitation is at the heart of the challenges that will decide the future of our cities.
What role will citizens play in their governance, and what should we expect of everyday life in these sprawling urban behemoths ?
Today’s cities have the power to stand up to, and even protest against, the policies imposed on them by their governments. San Francisco recently declared its emancipation, becoming a self-proclaimed “sanctuary city” and clearly outlining its own stance on international affairs. Cities hold much power, and much promise.
However, we must not neglect issues such as urban uses and coexistence.
Faced with the renewal of urban policies, politicians must prioritise citizen initiatives and urban design labs, and fight to protect the special place reserved for culture in these shape-shifting territories.
Having moved beyond the unrealistic utopia of smart cities, today we must focus on resilient cities with long-term approaches, deploying “bottom-up” approaches that can inspire the genuine and sustainable transformation of our cities.