By 2050, an additional 2.5 billion people will be living in cities. Some will be living in brand new cities, while others will be living in existing cities requiring reshaping, rethinking and retrofitting. This rapid increase in urban population challenges us to develop new approaches to imagining, making and managing future cities.
This challenge of urbanisation has particular significance for Asia and Africa. Urbanisation is a complex process that includes a sharp rise in total human population, a rapid shift from mostly rural to mostly urban ways of living, technological innovation, and the emergence of new economic opportunities. The process has intensified only in the last 200 years (of a 12,000-year history of human settlement), beginning in Europe, developing in America, and now shaping Asia and Africa.
The future cities of Asia and Africa cannot be designed, planned, built and managed through older resource-intensive paradigms and technologies. If they were, we would exceed the biophysical capacity of the planet several times over, and face an environmental, social, and economic disaster.
At the heart of rapidly urbanising Asia, Singapore, a city-state long at the forefront of innovative urban models, has a central role to play in developing and promoting sustainable pathways to urbanisation, both for itself and the region.
The guiding vision of Future Cities Laboratory is ‘to shape sustainable future cities: through science, by design, in place’. We pursue this vision through research undertaken in collaboration with government agencies, academic colleagues, industry and civil society partners in Singapore and beyond.
This first annual conference of the FCL Phase 2 will be a dialogue platform on this vision. We are delighted to have with us Prof. Dr. Timothy Morton, Prof. Dr. Sarah Whiting, and Prof. Dr. Ing. Vittorio M. Lampugnani as our keynote speakers over three days from 14 September to 16 September. Researchers will also showcase progress towards addressing the challenges, grand and everyday, that confront us all in this urban age.
We invite you to join us in this quest by being a part of this dialogue at the conference. For more information, please visit the conference website.