‘Future of the Cities’: A short film on the Urban Transformations portfolio

‘The challenges of the 21st century are in reality the challenges of the city.’ This summer the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) launched a short video on the future of cities, highlighting the work of the Urban Transformations portfolio and featuring an extended interview with UT’s coordinator, Professor Michael Keith. As he argues, the decision we make now about how cities develop will impact on every area of our lives. Indeed, well managed cities hold the key to a more sustainable future. ‘The opportunities of technological change,’ says Keith, ‘will be realised not only through cities, but through the DNA of cities.’

However, a solid evidence base and innovative approaches to urban planning are central to achieving this – which is why the work of the different projects in the portfolio is so important. Their findings are already playing a significant role in reorienting the UK’s urban future. ‘If you look on a project by project basis,’ Keith explains, ‘there are numerous examples of cities in the UK that will be shaped differently because of the ESRC interventions.’