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Posts Tagged ‘Visions’

Consumers in 2030: Crowd House Mortgages

Posted in Research, Tools, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on March 12th, 2013

Source: Forum for the Future (UK)

Image: Forum for the Future / Which?

From Crowd House Mortgages: how our financial world might be different in 2030 by Simon Howard:

“The financial world of 2030 as seen in the Consumers in 2030 report we produced with Which? magazine is radically different from that of today with the emphasis on shared endeavour and a disintermediation of large financial institutions. The Crowd House Mortgage idea couldn’t be more removed from the model of today. The capital lent is sourced from people who know the borrowers – possibly only in a virtual sense – and the lending decision is taken not by computer but by those lenders. “Computer can’t say no, co-worker can say yes.”

Could it happen? Quite possibly. The economic environment may not get better and banks may continue to be unpopular. That’s the “production” side of the current version under pressure. The demand side may be more subtle, coming down to what young people prefer out of the options outlined in the report: multi-generational living, expensive renting or buying with peers in a rolling re-run of student days. Put like that, seeing appreciable demand for co-own mortgages isn’t impossible is it?

The research makes it clear new ideas are needed and not just in housing. One we are looking at in the Forum is an alternative pension, the sustainable lifetime pension. The idea is simple: instead of investing in financial assets located quite possibly thousands of miles from your home, you invest locally in things that will secure a better quality of retirement: How can you help make old people feel more secure? Invest local pension contributions into the local economy so that people are employed closer to home and can feel more protective of the area where they work. How can you protect the elderly from rising energy prices? Allow them to direct pension savings into local renewable energy schemes whilst they are working in return for capped energy fees in retirement.

You can see the idea: local money into local assets with a return which isn’t entirely financial. That idea and the crowd source mortgage are some way away now. But both are valid ideas for focusing thinking debate as we look at an unclear future.”

Go to the Forum for the Future blog to read more by Simon Howard, read other posts in the ‘future artefacts’ series, or download the Consumers in 2030 report.

FeedToronto: A vision for growing food in public spaces

Posted in Visions by Kate Archdeacon on May 7th, 2012

© Drew Adams, Fadi Masoud, Karen May, Denise Pinto, Jameson Skaife

FEED TORONTO: GROWING THE HYDROFIELDS is a prize-winning design proposal by students in the Masters of Architecture and Masters of Landscape Architecture at the University of Toronto, Canada.


  • 2011 Toronto Urban Design Award of Excellence
  • Finalist, ONE PRIZE Mowing to Growing Competition, 2010

Designers: Drew Adams, Fadi Masoud, Karen May, Denise Pinto and Jameson Skaife

“The hydro corridors of Toronto are sprawling lengths of continuous, mostly vacant land. They are unusual terrain: both physically sparse but culturally intense. Stippled with electrical towers, planted in acres of mowed grass, they hold the promise of light, energy, and power. They have immense cultural equity, but with an underwhelming physical existence. Rather than pursuing the transformation of a complex network of privatized lawn landscape to create productive greenspace, this project takes on the proposition of finding the greatest and most immediate place for urban agriculture by using public lands. Growing hydro corridors can be done across North America, as they are a staple of most cities. If made into a standard this practice would not only circumvent the need for the buy-in of countless individual land owners, it would also also align the ground of the site with its significance as a place of energy production—this time through food. FeedToronto is proposed as a force of fiscal, ecological and social productivity. It re-imagines over 6,000 acres of mowed lawn as an abundant urban green that generates affordable, nutritious, local food.” From the submission

Read about the project and see more images on the Adams-Masoud site:

The 2012 TED Prize is awarded to….the City 2.0.

Posted in seeking, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on December 7th, 2011

TED is pleased to announce the winner of the 2012 TED Prize. For the first time in the history of the prize, it is being awarded not to an individual, but to an idea. It is an idea upon which our planet’s future depends.

The 2012 TED Prize is awarded to….the City 2.0.

The City 2.0 is the city of the future… a future in which more than ten billion people on planet Earth must somehow live sustainably. The City 2.0 is not a sterile utopian dream, but a real-world upgrade tapping into humanity’s collective wisdom. The City 2.0 promotes innovation, education, culture, and economic opportunity. The City 2.0 reduces the carbon footprint of its occupants, facilitates smaller families, and eases the environmental pressure on the world’s rural areas. The City 2.0 is a place of beauty, wonder, excitement, inclusion, diversity, life. The City 2.0 is the city that works.

The TED Prize grants its winner $100,000 and “one wish to change the world.” How will this prize be accepted on behalf of the City 2.0? Through visionary individuals around the world who are advocating on its behalf. We are listening to them and giving them the opportunity to collectively craft a wish. A wish capable of igniting a massive collaborative project among the members of the global TED community, and indeed all who care about our planet’s future.

Individuals or organizations who wish to contribute their ideas to a TED Prize wish on behalf of The City 2.0 should write to

The wish will be unveiled on February 29, 2012 at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California. On a Leap Year date, we have a chance, collectively, to take a giant leap forward.

50 Ideas For The New City: Poster Campaign

Posted in Tools, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on June 20th, 2011

50 Ideas For The New City, from Urban Omnibus

With this poster campaign, we want to turn the language of ubiquitous marketing — in which every bus, taxi or construction barrier is a canvas for advertising anything and everything — on its head by using a similar language to share examples of creativity and innovation in the urban realm. We want to spread these ideas to the whole city. And we want to hear your new ideas too. So starting next week, (now live!) at you will find 50 ideas for New York already explored on Urban Omnibus and a space for you to share one of your own. We hope, in some small way, we can help re-enchant the urban environment as a landscape of possibility, a realm of action and intention, and a place that represents — and deserves — a long and evolving history of creative ideas.

Read more about the posters and click through each image or blurb to find the essay that led to the idea.

The poster campaign was part of New York’s Festival of Ideas for the New City.

On May 4-8th, the Festival of Ideas for the New City brought artists, designers, politicians and community organizers to downtown Manhattan, infusing the city with a commitment to creativity and dedication to place. Through a string of lectures, panels, workshops, a street fair and over a hundred art installations and openings of cultural projects, the Festival brought to mind a sensibility which first made the neighborhood a forefront for the avant-garde. For four days, a dizzying array of visionary thinkers, makers and practitioners shared ideas and projects that might help articulate what kind of city we want, as well as some concrete examples of how to get there.

Read more about the Festival in this recap by Caitlin Blanchfield.


Building Low Carbon Britain: Report

Posted in Movements, Research by Kate Archdeacon on February 25th, 2011

Source: Forum for the Future

Building A Low-Carbon Britain:

Local authorities will have a key role to play in the low carbon economy of the future. This project aimed to help local authorities understand what a low-carbon economy means for them and to find opportunities for low-carbon innovation in a time of public sector cuts.

Building a low-carbon Britain, jointly produced with The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT), makes five recommendations or building blocks for how local authorities can prepare their areas and communities for a low carbon future. It presents four scenarios which explore plausible, alternative visions of a low carbon UK. You can download the full report here.

We hope that local authorities across the UK will use the scenarios to develop new strategies and policies, and challenge current practice, perhaps using them as starting points for their own low-carbon future visions. To continue the momentum generated by the study, ADEPT and Forum for the Future are planning a series of local events during 2011 to facilitate an exchange of ideas and information between interested parties. If you would like to attend the events or would like to know more about the project, please contact Zoe Le Grand.

Although the four scenarios are very different, we have identified positive strategic responses to each so organisations can either develop the best elements or avoid the worst. Where these responses work across multiple scenarios, they represent strong strategic options which are robust for a range of futures – in effect, the building blocks for creating a low-carbon economy.

The four scenarios are:

  • Community Action – where a “well-being” economy values meaningful work and low-carbon impact lifestyles, with a smaller, more localised state.
  • Technology and Choice – where low-carbon industries compete for business, with councils which invested early in reducing carbon emissions reaping rewards.
  • Emergency State Control – where the state replaces the market as the driver of change with economies forcibly reorientated in favour of carbon reduction.
  • Business Revolution – where the public sector is a “low-carbon facilitator” and ‘carbon efficiency’ has replaced cost efficiency.
Read about the strategic responses to the scenarios over on the Forum for the Future Page.

Buckminster Fuller Challenge: Open for Entry

Posted in Events, Visions by Kate Archdeacon on September 1st, 2010

The Buckminster Fuller Challenge is an annual international design Challenge awarding $100,000 to support the development and implementation of a strategy that has significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems. It attracts bold, visionary, tangible initiatives focused on a well-defined need of critical importance. Winning solutions are regionally specific yet globally applicable and present a truly comprehensive, anticipatory, integrated approach to solving the world’s complex problems.

» Applications are now being accepted: How to Enter

» Deadline is Monday, October 4, 2010 at 5pm, Eastern Standard Time

Communicating Visions: Designing Sustainable Cities

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on June 2nd, 2010

By Rasmus Brønnum, Sustainable Cities (Denmark):

New media always transforms the way we communicate. Now, it’s not that we havn’t seen moving-pictures before, but the fact that architects have begun to produce short movies presenting how they think, work and define architectural qualities, is something new and still-to-see from a lot of firms. In this case the issue is sustainability presented in, not one, but three fast shifting projects.

Watch the new shortmovie Designing Sustainable Cities, three aspects – three plans from the danish architect office Vandkunsten.

Visioning the City: FutureEverything Conference Panel

Posted in Events by Rob Eales on April 20th, 2010

If we could co-create the city we wanted, what would it look like? The Visioning the City panel will explore our collective dreams of urban utopia as well as addressing practical plans to understand and improve city life.

FutureEverything is an award winning, world class organisation using mass participation in creativity and social innovation to bring the future into the present. It has a strong global network and international profile, and is recognised around the world for leading pioneering projects and important international debates. The organisation delivers a range of benefits, including mass engagement, awards, international networks, local advocacy, training and thought leadership, on themes including innovation, technology, art, society and the environment. It is embedded in business support networks, and is central to the innovation ecology in the UK.

The Future Everything Conference is a desination for a world-wide community of inspirational people; an engaging, entertaining and essential event to attend. Exploring the interface between technology, society and culture, the internationally acclaimed FutureEverything Conference is the crucible that allows artists, technologists and future-thinkers to share, innovate and interact. Keynote speakers include Keri Facer, Dame Wendy Hall, Ben Cerveny, Nigel Shadbolt and Darren Wershler.

Taking place at Contact on Oxford Road, Manchester, 13 – 15 May 2010

Food Futures: an Australian approach

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on July 29th, 2009

Source: Rural Climate Network

Food futures Conference

Abstracts and conference registrations are invited for the PHAA conference, Food Futures: An Australian Approach, 20-21 April 2010 in Canberra.

Concerns about the relationship between food and the food system, nutrition, and population health are part of the motivation for the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) to facilitate a national conference seeking an overarching approach to food policy that looks well into the future. Although health may be the driver for the PHAA, any such national policy or approach must also take into account issues such as agriculture, scientific research, production and manufacture, environment, retail and community concerns, to appropriately encompass all aspects of food.

Abstract submission closes October 5

Read the rest of this entry »

What sustainability should look like in Valley by 2025

Posted in Visions by Devin Maeztri on May 1st, 2009

“With visionary planning, we created a practical oasis” – original article by Rob Melnick posted in The Arizona Republic.

Cities would need innovative regional sustainability plans and would have to create economies of scale when purchasing sustainable technologies for public benefit, such as solar-energy products.”

Rob Melnick is executive dean, Global Institute of Sustainability, and Presidential Professor of Practice, School of Sustainability, Arizona State University

To read more of the article visit The Arizona Republic