The future of the future city? The new urban sciences and a PEAK Urban interdisciplinary disposition

Journal article

In many domains we see a proliferation of claims made about how we can predict and measure the future city, how we make visible its form and shape its settlement.

This paper synthesises contemporary debates in data analytics, anthropology, geography and the history of urban thought to consider the context of such claims making around urban futures and the promise (and promises) of attempts to make visible the urban as a ‘lab’ or ‘observatory’ through which we might ‘see like a city’.

Building on a ‘systems of systems approach’ the paper develops an original PEAK Urban conceptual framing of this new subdiscipline and addresses the potential for academic research to inform the capacity of cities to anticipate and reshape the challenges that characterise 21st century urban life through interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary engaged scholarship that situates the new urban sciences within a context of an experimental urbanism that makes visible the trade offs and the ethical dilemmas of the future city.

Michael Keith
Neave O’Clery
Susan Parnell
Aromar Revi
October 2020 (print edition)
Sustainable Cities