We live in an urban age. Worldwide, 1,5 million people move to the city each week. Whereas cities are places of innovation and relative wealth, sustaining them according to 20th-century principles will result in planetary disaster. Current cities are addicted to fossil fuels and are increasingly socially segregated. Facing the challenges of our time, such as global warming and social injustice, requires radical change. Our question: can we make cities better places?

What we do in the present is profoundly influenced by our expectations of the future. The Urban Futures Studio investigates how this works, illuminating concrete ‘techniques of futuring’ in use. We have an open eye for the politics that influence societal perceptions of the future. We study daring imaginations of alternative futures and connect these imaginations to the urban networks and coalitions that could mobilize them. Our focus: to understand current techniques of futuring, and to enhance the transformative capacities of cities by exploring new techniques of futuring.

The UFS works at the intersection of science, art and policy. Convinced that new thinking starts in crossovers and ‘soft spaces’, we actively initiate experiments to encourage promising meet-ups. Fascinated by the question of what makes actors agents of change, we do not aspire to find a single ‘best’ transformation. We probe, test and tinker in unusual coalitions to help enhance urban resilience. We aim to understand the dynamics of change and expand our repertoire of techniques of futuring .