FutureTense is a weekly half-hour podcast program aired on Australian ABC National Radio that takes a critical look at new technologies, new approaches and new ways of thinking. This week’s theme is “Urbanisation and our relationship with the city” and includes interviews with Adam Greenfield, Bert de Muynck, Professor Richard Florida and Dr. Tony Fry. Podcast now online!
A couple of weeks ago FutureTense presenter Antony Funnell conducted a phone interview with MovingCities asking questions about our work in relation to the changing nature of urban development in China, starting from the point that given that China’s vast cities are in a time of transition, what are the various processes shaping and being shaped by that transition? The podcast tackles the following issue from different perspectives, skilfully navigating between the influence of ubiquitous media, spiky urban development and climate change on the way we understand the city:
The 21st century will see ever increasing levels of urbanisation. In this program we look at the way we engage with the city. What do we need to take into account to ensure greater harmony between our future needs as individuals and the needs of the metropolis.
The “Urbanisation and our relationship with the city” podcast [download mp3] also features writer and critical futurist Adam Greenfield, author of “Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing” [New Riders Press, 2006] and inventor of the term ‘moblogging’ [short for Mobile Blogging].
Further on there is Dr Tony Fry [Adjunct Professor, Design Futures Program, Griffith University] whom we met in the context of “City Move Interdesign workshop” [Mar-Apr 09] in Gällivare, Sweden. Tony Fry recently published “Moving Cities & Immobile Mentalities” on the DesignPhilosophyPolitics-website. An extract:
One of the largest challenges is moving at-risk cities. What this actually means is still unclear. Certainly, it means moving people, although moving social structure and communities is another matter. It might mean moving the economy, or creating a new one. It could mean moving a lot of the material fabric of a city, or none. Then there is the massively complex issue of to where people are to be moved and how all of this can be paid for.
Finally, there is the well-known Professor Richard Florida [Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and Professor of Business and Creativity, University of Toronto] and author of the notorious “The Rise of the Creative Class” [Basic Books, 2002].
Nowadays it seems Florida’s theories and speculations are severely under pressure, exemplary being the recently published article, in Canadian newspaper The Star, “Why Richard Florida’s honeymoon is over“:
The urban guru arrived two years ago as the toast of the town. Today, his critics argue he is a glib salesman and elitist. How did such a sweet marriage go wrong?