Our cities, towns and neighbourhoods are faced with a multitude of converging challenges, but our government departments, agencies, teams and officials are often not afforded the space, time and process to think of creative, fresh and innovative ways to think about the future.
We all want our cities and towns to be better and smarter in the future. But which projects, policies, ideas and spaces can help them to become more liveable, vibrant and inclusive? What are the tangible initial steps we can take towards achieving this long-term vision?
Our Future Cities has introduced the Our Future Cities Lab, a comprehensive package which facilitates a constructive, creative and open space for members of governments, public agencies and departments to think and learn about the identity, context and future of their cities, towns and neighbourhoods.
As an independent organisation with expertise across cities, sectors and fields we visit your city or town and provide guidance, insights and strategies that respond to your local needs and aspirations, tapping into our vast local and global network in the design, development and city-making sectors.
Our research draws on current practice and recent precedent, as well as the newest academic research in the field, enhanced by an international alumni network of practitioners and academics.
Through the process we will provide you with the relevant skills and tools where suitable, showing you what to look for, how to analyse areas and spaces and which questions to ask to develop new briefs.
During this process and as partners, your city leadership or agency will have access to our vision, expertise, and past research. We combine our knowledge of both local and global contexts, allowing you to step back from the daily operational pressures and demands and go beyond traditional approaches to solving urban challenges.
The packages below are flexible and can be adapted to your specific challenge and context if necessary. Your focus may include but is not limited to :
- Criteria and tools to improve public spaces, measure walkability and improve the public realm
- Reviewing your urban policies, potential future policies and tools for better policymaking
- Affordable housing and inclusionary housing strategies
- Transport and accessibility challenges
- Improving collaboration between public and private sectors, communities and/or civil society
- Applying and adapting international best practice and case studies to suit a particular area’s context
- A particular focus area as outlined by you
For towns and cities outside of South Africa, we would recommend developing a longer-term engagement, allowing us to develop a more nuanced understanding of the understand of the site (social, economic, political) and of the team/government involved.