Urban Imaginaries and the Palimpsest of the Future

Dunn, Nicholas Simon (2018) Urban Imaginaries and the Palimpsest of the Future. In: The Routledge Companion to Urban Imaginaries. Routledge, Oxon / New York, pp. 375-386. ISBN 9781138058880

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How and why should we imagine new, positive urban futures? As we look forwards, the world seems highly likely to be shaped by its cities. We anticipate that cities will become the ultimate destination of future generations and they will play a crucial role in the lives of everyone around the globe. How these urban futures look, feel and operate has long been, and will continue to be, an important series of issues. Urban imaginaries have been conceived throughout history but their paths are increasingly critical as we seek to develop sustainable practices and environments for our collective tomorrow. The role of imagination is fundamental to processes of conceptualisation, envisioning and performing urban futures. The importance of such creativity extends in other ways to their questioning of reality, reshaping our spatial conceptions or providing expressions of alternatives. This chapter, therefore, examines the power of visions for urban futures across multiple media and how they contribute to our social imaginary. Considering these projections from a historical perspective can provide new insights and greater understanding of the developments and patterns that shape the present and, in turn, their implications for our future. The chapter also aims to provide insights for the way urban imaginaries have evolved and converged different ideas of the city. It thus explores dominant paradigms and how these have emerged, echoed or perished over time enabling certain futures to be visible, even if their trade-offs are less so.

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This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in The Routledge Companion to Urban Imaginaries on 16/10/2018, available online: https://www.crcpress.com/The-Routledge-Companion-to-Urban-Imaginaries/Lindner-Meissner/p/book/9781138058880
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18 Oct 2018 09:30
Last Modified:
19 Sep 2023 03:29