A series of imaginary characters created to explore the possibilities of urban life in the future. Instead of focusing on large-scale, technology-led solutions the project takes on a citizen-focussed perspective.
It’s 2023 in London. You can make a phone call on your watch and report a traffic jam with a button on your glasses. But how will we really live, work and play? What kinds of constraints and opportunities will future urban dwellers face?
Our set of future Londoners was produced for the x.Future.Innovation.Cities workshop in September 2013. The personas were developed through a collaboration between Arup, Social Life, Re.Work, Commonplace, Tim Maughan and Nesta. Each narrative builds on the team’s knowledge, from urban neighbourhood engagement to smart technologies in the city, and seeks to reflect on 9 key urban trends, which we believe will have a significant impact on the future of the built environment and society in general:
- More globally than city wide connected communities
- Neighbourhoods having more importance
- Collaborative production as well as consumption
- Active ageing population
- Flexible working
- Fragile energy supply and environment
- Inequality causing skills and housing divides
- Increasing collection and use of personal data
- Socially divisive access to communication technologies
Rather than attempting to be an all-inclusive representation of the future Londoner, these characters should be seen primarily as a tool for exploring the needs and desires that need to be considered when designing a smarter London.
As we continue the discourse, we must ask the following: Are they completely wrong? Or are they exaggerated? Do they not go far enough? How should we use technology to make this city a better place for all Londoners in the future?
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