The Future City, as an idea that often relies upon Utopian thinking to sustain itself, can be as cruel as it is consoling. Even as it makes possible investment into urban space as a site of future fulfillment, it regularly fails to deliver upon this promise. This panel asked what futures such Utopian thinking makes available for the city and what present realities it denies? It queried more specifically the Utopias that have come to structure London’s own particular futures. What Utopian thinking is operative, for instance, in a city so firmly structured around the logic of speculation intrinsic to finance capital? And what futures might present citizens be imagining for themselves?
The Future City: cruel or consoling Utopia? This event formed part of the LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2016.