Emergent Global Transformations

With the lack of a dominating paradigm in urban design and planning, the theme Emergent Global Transformations undertakes an inquiry into the postmodern condition of cities.

Various paradigms point to different forms of and approaches to design intervention in the public realm – each with conscious expectations, results, and consequences for the end users. Centre for the Future of Places equally recognizes how forces of structural and emergent change contribute to shaping the urban landscape and living infrastructures exploring different measures for the reinvention of cities. The importance of the digital and social media and network society in general, with its specific transformation and creation of new spaces and places is still not adequately explored. In the last few decades, many global cities, towns, and municipalities have experienced unprecedented economic, social, and spatial structural change.

Today, we find ourselves at the juncture between entering a post-urban and a post-political world, both presenting new challenges to our metropolitan regions, municipalities, and cities. Specifically, these challenges are of a spatial, economic, demographic, ecological, cultural, and social nature. Megacities and many declining regions and towns are experiencing an increase in the number of complex problems regarding internal relationships, governance, and external connections.

The investigation is focused on how technology and social networking affect our lives and our cities. Due to the interconnected nature of ecosystems, we are closely linked together with our neighboring communities. The social and economic benefits of regionalism seem to present themselves as the objective for future urban development if we are to have cities that are economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. In that respect, the research considers the spatial implications of all three aspects and connects the micro, meso and macro levels through the concept of the Regional City.

Last but not least, investigations will also focus the attention to the developing world, especially the informal city and the hyper transformations happening in these urban landscapes. In particular, a growing disparity exists between citizens that are socially excluded within declining physical and economic realms and those situated in thriving geographic areas. Within the prospering regions, leading anchor institutions and companies have connected with start-ups and business incubators to accelerate growth, talent, and innovation.

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