Managing pervasive change for future cities

Diogo Pereira Henriques

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


During the last century, several future cities visions have been proposed by architects, conservationists, economists, educationalists, film directors, geographers, health specialists, historians, landscape architects, philosophers, planners, policy makers, politicians, novel writers, sociologists, urban theorists and designers, and other parties involved and/or interested in urban processes. Nevertheless, Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City vision, i.e. a network of urban settlements combining city and country characteristics in order to manage social and economic change, has proven to be one of the most enduring, both in the UK and overseas (Dunn, Cureton and Pollastri, 2014; TCPA, 2011; Alexander, 2009; Hall and Ward, 1998, Hall 1988). Nowadays, climate and demographic change are becoming the greatest challenges for the future of cities, and this could provide opportunities for alternative urban settlements that are essentially different from the expanding metropolises such as London, Rio de Janeiro or Singapore. As such, regional cities in the north of the UK have the potential to become living laboratories for social and economic change, through both real time planning and medium and long-term strategic thinking (Thompson and Greenhalgh, 2014; Tewdwr-Jones and Goddard, 2014). How can digital infrastructure support planners and others to manage pervasive change in test-bed cities? How will urban populations, living in these cities, accept and interact with this process? In this paper, we overview new multi-disciplinary approaches to foster spatial intelligence and to build spatial data infrastructures, developed by universities and regional city administrations in the north of the UK. Although a multi-disciplinary research strategy between agencies and institutions is crucial to urban innovation, there is the need of common mind sets and methodologies, particularly across computing and social sciences, and local authorities. We identify the current state of spatial intelligence and data infrastructure initiatives and projects in the regional cities of north of the country, and we draw comparisons with similar international network strategies. We foresee possible interactions between green and spatial data infrastructures in the cities of tomorrow, and we also discuss future views on decision-making, which combine human computer interaction paradigms with security issues raised by the emergence of artificial intelligence systems.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2016
EventRUEG 2016 - Regional Urbanism in the Era of Globalisation - Huddersfield, UK
Duration: 4 Feb 2016 → …


ConferenceRUEG 2016 - Regional Urbanism in the Era of Globalisation
Period4/02/16 → …


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