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8 insights into planning for Future Cities

Last week we hosted another #citytalk tweetchat with the New Cities Foundation on the topic of Future Cities. With the world urbanising, current cities are growing and many new cities are being built. But will the future of the world be led by megacities?

Our dicussion looked at the future of current urban areas, how we are developing new cities, and how this might affect urban citizens.

The discussion was a great success, reaching over 35,000 people and making the Twitter Trending Topics for the first time. Though the pace was fast, we read all your tweets and have selected eight of our favourites for this list (if you missed out and want to see the whole discussion, check it out here).

1. Existing cities will not be forgotten

Though new cities are being built across the globe, existing cities are critical for tackling the global urbanisation trend. Will megacities become more common?

A1. No. Existing cities will be the starting place for redevelopment and densification bc infrastructure already there @thisbigcity #citytalk — abbEy (@alo83) May 9, 2012

2. The themed city

Cities are increasingly turning to branding to establish their identities. Is this a good idea?

A2) Something about themed city does not sit well with me. I do support focused cities.Cape Town, sometimes tries to be everything #CityTalk — futurecapetown.com (@futurecapetown) May 9, 2012

3. Technology may well bring us closer

With technology (theoretically) allowing us to work almost anywhere, why are we choosing to live closer together? Though it might seem illogical, could technology actually be encouraging geographical closeness?

A3 Technological development has introduced new ways to connect with the city and made it a more interesting place as a result #citytalk — Joe Peach (@thisbigcity) May 9, 2012

4. Cities without governments

Cities are being developed with industry in place, but no governments. Might future cities exist without any governmental presence? Is this a good idea? Is this actually any different to how cities have developed in the past?

A4. historically company towns formed around factories. workers either created own gov alongside the comp rules or factory did #citytalk — abbEy (@alo83) May 9, 2012

5. Partnerships for urban success

Collaboration between urban stakeholders will be critical in future cities, just as it is in present cities!

A5 Everybody living in a community should be involved in partnerships for the better of that community, be it urban or rural. #citytalk — Mayra Hartmann (@MayraHart) May 9, 2012

6. Single-purpose cities will continue to exist

Whether it’s political ambition or a compromise between bickering cities (Melbourne, Sydney – calm down), capitally cities built specifically for the purpose of governance will continue. Cities built to cater to one goal, be it industry, environmental sustainability, etc. – will also continue to be developed. But will they develop a diverse culture beyond their initial single purpose?

A6 Planned cities, if they work, arguably do so despite the plan: observe that a range of planning paradigms have worked. #citytalk — Rory Williams (@carbonsmart) May 9, 2012

7. Decentralised cities

Don’t want to commit to building an entirely new city somewhere? How about a satellite city, located on the edge of an already developed metropolis? This approach has been taken in the past with cities like Milton Keynes in the UK, but is it a good idea to continue with this into the future, and could it end up creating more megacities?

A7) The problem with “decentralized” cities is that eventually it stands a lot of potential to create a breeding ground for sprawl #citytalk — UT Built Environment (@UT_BuiltEnv) May 9, 2012

8. Future citizenship in future cities

Cities will be different in the future, but how might the changes we’re anticipating affect urban citizens? Yesterday I hosted a panel discussion at the New Cities Summit on Greener Districts and our panelists largely agreed with your comments from #citytalk – the future citizen will hopefully be engaged, digitally enabled, with access to information and an awareness of their options in the dense urban area they live in.

A8) the future citizen will be a connected citizen – connecting to fellow citizens, gov, issues, community, online and offline #citytalk — Chris B. (@FromBKtoBXL) May 9, 2012