Words by Athlyn Cathcart-Keays, member of the Academy’s Young Urbanists and freelance journalist.
The Government Office for Science’s Foresight programme is currently running a project called The Future of Cities, which takes a long-term look at how UK cities can best contribute to economic growth over the coming decade. It takes into consideration wellbeing, equity and social inclusion, which are all vitally important to the resilience and functioning of cities and their citizens. The project works with a group of lead experts to ensure the most relevant evidence and findings are of a high technical and scientific standard, to inform future decision-making.
I am currently working as a rapporteur for the project, attending stakeholder meetings in cities across the UK, compiling written and visual reports of the proceedings of the meetings and city visits. It is very interesting to be involved with a project that is just starting off, but has the ability to become highly influential and important in regards to the future form of cities and urban environments across the UK.
The project aims to connect with various institutions and organisations across the UK, which is where the involvement with The Academy of Urbanism comes in! Without the input from key urban thinkers and urbanists the project would fall flat – there is no point in studying cities without listening to those who actually live in them! The Academy’s Young Urbanists connected me to the Future of Cities project, and I am certain that the relationship between the organisations will continue to foster the development of future research and fresh urban thinkers. The Young Urbanist group successfully brings together graduates and young city thinkers to create an active network of individuals, working together to develop their knowledge and passion for the urban environment, and I am happy to be a part of it.
Image by: Andrew Watts