February 27, 2007
by Canadian Architect
What will our cities look like in the future? How will places such as London or Hull deal with flooding? Will towns and cities cut themselves off from the state? How will the national increase in obesity impact on future urban design? Will fresh water become the new oil?
An exhibition of revolutionary proposals for the development of our cities opens at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), 66 Portland Place, London, W1 from March 7-April 4, 2007. Dramatic ideas on display include a vision of a super-rich Glasgow after water replaces oil as the most fought-over resource; an ambitious proposal to create independence for towns and cities in the UK starting with Conisbrough; and an investigation into how to grow bananas on the Thames. The Visualisations of the 21st Century City exhibition results from a collaboration between UK architecture students and Building Futures, the RIBAs think tank.
Visualisations of the 21st Century City exhibits work from three schools of architecture The Bartlett (UCL), The Mackintosh School of Architecture and Sheffield University which explore the possible changes that will occur in our towns and cities over the next 20 years as the technologies, social climates and environmental conditions that influence their forms evolve. The resulting proposals also investigate the dialogue between the existing buildings and infrastructure and emerging pressures, and discuss how this interface may develop in the next two decades.
Ben Addy from The Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL) said: The Visualisations project run by the RIBAs Building Futures Group is a timely look at how our cities might develop over the next quarter century. It has been fantastic to have some of the UKs brightest architecture students involved directly with the RIBA but more to the point it has focused their and our minds on some serious contemporary issues and what their future repercussions might be. The work represents true free thinking and displays a broad range of intelligent and often unexpected responses to projected economic, social and climactic problems. If we can utilize this much wit and imagination in dealing with these issues outside of university then perhaps the future wont be so bleak after all.