The guiding vision of the Future Cities Laboratory is to shape sustainable future cities:
THROUGH SCIENCE | BY DESIGN | IN PLACE
To achieve sustainability, science is essential. Science provides the basis for understanding how cities develop and interact with the environment at different scales. Cities are composed of physical stocks, resource flows, social institutions and cultural catalysts whose interactions generate a quantifiable ‘metabolism’. The scientific focus of our research is to quantify such metabolisms, and understand how they might be best structured for the benefit of sustainable cities.
A sustainable city must also be liveable. To achieve liveability, design is essential. Design is
a collaborative process that combines analytical techniques, imaginative strategies and transdisciplinary knowledge to generate new ideas and bring them to fruition. Design skills bring, often conflicting, technical, economic, social and cultural demands (such as environmental sustainability, profit, comfort, convenience, identity, security, satisfaction and desire) into innovative and harmonious relationships.
Science and design are effective only if they serve places and the lives that are lived in them.
Places result from common processes (growth and decline; competition and co-operation; ebb and flow of capital, people, goods and ideas; climate change) and differentiating factors (geography, culture, language, history). Our research addresses diverse lived places, from compact cities with high-density populations to extended cities with a mosaic of urban and rural land-uses.
New knowledge, paradigms and action plans for sustainable future cities from the perspective
The outcomes of FCL will be:
1) Knowledge of cities that integrates science and design
2) Understanding of diverse kinds of city and their interaction
3) Design scenarios for sustainable urban development
4) Curriculum development
Such outcomes will take the form of conference papers, journal articles, academic books and text books, exhibitions, PhD theses, design guidelines, planning support tools, and pilot projects.