Realising visions for future cities: An aspirational futures methodology

Chris D.F. Rogers, Dexter V.L. Hunt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
286 Downloads (Pure)


Providing for the future needs of society requires civil engineers to envision the far future, embrace the concepts of sustainability, resilience, smartness, liveability and adaptability, and work collaboratively with all urban professionals and policy-makers. Given that most people live, and societies operate, in cities, visions for future cities often inform the civil engineer's 'brief'. The UK Foresight Future of Cities project and Liveable Cities research consortium combined to create a novel aspirational futures methodology to help define this brief. This paper describes the methodology, which entails co-creation of three extreme aspirational futures, and its application to Bristol and Birmingham, thereby demonstrating the influence of different historical and current contexts. It explores how an engineering intervention-green infrastructure corridors to facilitate urban mobility-if conceived and designed with the intention of delivering multiple benefits, can meet many economic, social and environmental aspirations of a city and it citizens. Discussed in relation to current research and a Policy Commission on Future Urban Living, the results demonstrate the potential to transform engineering value propositions by using robustly-constructed, far-future scenarios to enable all urban professionals to make better, joined-up decisions in harmony with all urban systems, the outcomes being uniquely well-informed alternative business models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-140
Number of pages16
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Urban Design and Planning
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2019


  • infrastructure planning
  • sustainability
  • town & city planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Urban Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Realising visions for future cities: An aspirational futures methodology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this