The Future Cities project

challenging risk-aversion and the precautionary principle

» Development & Environment

What if Architects became Developers?

zog headMatt Bloomfield discovers that Roger Zogolovitch writes as well as he builds, but notes that good housing doesn’t come cheap. Read more…

Tianjin in perspective

explosionby Austin Williams | 19 August 2015

Disasters on the scale of (this) tragic explosion … tend to provoke a brief wave of statements that such things must never happen again. Read more…

The Right Time for the Night Time

The_Arches_Glasgow_crowdAlan D Miller | 26 May 2016

The Night Time industries are vital to Britain’s future both culturally and economically. Read more…

Film Review: ‘City Visions’ #5

MegacitiesSteve Nash | 2 October 2014

Megacities – Twelve Stories of Survival. Dir. Michael Glawogger, 1998

This film is a tour de force. Part documentary and part fictionalised account of the lives Read more…

Film Review: ‘City Visions’ #4

Ecumenopolis 1Martin Earnshaw | 9 October 2014

Ecumenopolis: City without Limits, Dir. Imre Azem, 2012

When we think of a World City we think of a globalised hub like London Read more…

Film Review: ‘City Visions’ #3

EcopolisJosh Broomer | 7 October 2014

‘Ecopolis China’, Directed by Anna-Karin Grönroos

Anna-Karin Grönroos’s insightful Read more…

Film Review: Robin Hood Gardens

smithsonsRosalind Alexander | 30 September 2014
“The Smithsons on Housing”

Allow me to introduce you to B S Johnson’s 1970 documentary, “The Smithsons on Housing”, which might be better titled “The Smithsons on the Tragedy that is London.” Read more…

Film review: “Rebel Architecture” #2

nghiaMagdalena Melon | 4 September 2014
“Greening the city”
If the current way of thinking does not change, sooner or later citizens will actually live in concrete jungles. Read more…

Film review: “Rebel Architecture”

RicardoRocinha Pedro Calmon | 29 August 2014

“The Pedreiro and the Master Planner” 

“The favela is unplanned, it arises spontaneously, with no help or design from government” Read more…

The Anti-Human Eco-City

eco-koreaBy Paul Thomas | 20 April 2014

Before attending this lecture on The Anti-Human Eco-City at Leeds Met, I’d heard of them but  Read more…

Ordos’ Other Ghost Town

OrdosOrdos in Inner Mongolia is synonymous with the phrase ‘Ghost Town’; a term describing cities apparently built on a whim, with no-one to occupy them. Read more…

The Practical Possibilist

Population 10 Billion: The Coming Demographic Crisis and How to Survive It by Danny Dorling; Constable, 2013. 448pp

Reviewed by Martin Earnshaw | 14 October 2013

population-10 billionThe recent news that the UK is experiencing a mini baby boom was greeted with predictable panic about how Britain’s services would cope. From worries about an ageing population to the familiar refrain (1) about depleted resources, population has long been a lightning rod for broader anxieties about society.  Read more…

Europe and China: Strategic Partners or Rivals?

Roland Vogt

Just half a century after De Gaulle’s vision that Europe (‘from the Atlantic to the Urals’) would decide the destiny of the world, Europe looks anything like a global powerhouse. Read more…

Dear Chris…

Beijing-and-China-Air-PollutionThis is a series of letters between Chris Twinn, Arup Fellow & Senior Sustainability Consultant in Shanghai; and Austin Williams of FCP, after the publication of Williams’ article in China Daily (here)

Read more…

Manufacturing the future

The New Industrial Revolution: consumers, globalization and the end of mass production by Peter Marsh; Yale UP, 2012. 320 pp

Reviewed by Martin Earnshaw | 7 March 2013

Even the ghosts of England’s past oppose HS2 it seems. On 10th February 2013 the Observer ran a bizarre story about how HS2 might go through a historic battle site Read more…

India, China: Talk of the town

By Austin Williams | Feb 19, 2013

VLUU L310W L313 M310W / Samsung L310W L313 M310WAs an architect living in Suzhou, just outside Shanghai, I have become blasé about the skyline being transformed before my very eyes.   Read more…

How Many Times Has the World Ended?

By Alastair Donald | 08 February 2013

You may recall that the world should have ended recently, on December 21, 2012, to be precise.  As it rather smugly reported on the preparations being made around the world for the coming apocalypse, the Guardian reminded us Read more…

Ghost Towns

By Alastair Donald | 13 January 2013

VLUU L310W L313 M310W / Samsung L310W L313 M310WLast year a historic landmark was reached, but with little fanfare. The fact that the people of China are now predominantly urban, was largely ignored by the Western media. Read more…

Masterplanning the Future

By Austin Williams | 6 December 2012

The great American urbanist Daniel Burnham, the man who drafted the first comprehensive city plan a century ago, summed up the necessary ambition involved in the art of city-making: “Make no little plans,” he said. “They have no magic to stir men’s blood.”  Read more…

The Great Stagnation

‘The Great Stagnation’ by Tyler Cowen; Dutton Books, 2011. 109pp

Reviewed by Stephen Nash | 23 November 2012

With its sizeable subtitle – ‘How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better’ – this slim volume has made a big splash since its initial appearance in ebook format at the start of 2011. Read more…