An independent working paper on how future cities have been visualised, ‘what these projections sought to communicate and why’, is available this month as a free download from the Government Office for Science’s Future of cities announcements page.
It has been written by Dr Paul Cureton, senior lecturer in design software skills and innovation at the University of Hertfordshire; Nick Dunn, professor of urban design at ImaginationLancaster and associate director of research at the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts; and ImaginationLancaster researcher and PhD student Serena Pollastri.
‘By giving insight on which typologies have had the most influence on UK cities, it is possible to provide an evidence-based, future-orientated discussion on the possible legacy of the latest visualisations so we may understand where we are headed,’ says Paul Cureton.
He and his co-authors have analysed and categorised ‘hundreds of design works of cities spanning the last hundred years’. These categories, he adds, ‘have also been arranged in relation to a linear timeframe as part of our synthesis in the conclusion so that the different themes can be appreciated from a conventional historical perspective.
‘This enables six visual dominant paradigms to be understood from these categories as flows throughout the time period examined, illustrating connectivity and reoccurrence. Such work is pressing as such a visual history gathers significant evidence for projections and conceptual thought of UK cities in the future yet no survey of this scope has been conducted to date.’