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The Fate of Cities

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The planet’s cities grow by an aggregate of at least one million people per week. If population trends continue, 66% of people will be living in cities by 2050, with a substantial proportion living in the mega- cities of developing countries. What will these cities look like? The cities of the future could be sustainable and fair, or fortified enclaves of a privileged few, surrounded by a sea of slums.

But this is only one side of the coin: in the age of urbanisation the rural population might be forgotten and feel disadvantaged by the ‘urban elite’. What will the effects of the growth of cities be for the surrounding countryside? In this salon we will reflect on the fate of cities and the implications of urbanisation for both urban and rural dwellers around the world.

Our speaker Suzan Christiaanse, has a background in architecture and urban planning and is currently conducting research at the department of Cultural Geography (University of Groningen) on the effects of rural population decline. Questions of concern will include:

  • –  Introduction: global demographic trends and the world’s fastest growing cities
  • –  The rural-urban divide: what was, and will be the connection between cities and their ‘hinterland’?
  • –  Geographies of discontent: how capitalism fuelled inequity and political discontent
  • –  Urban Utopia: the philosophical and designer’s stance versus how do we see the future of cities?