In a time of global flux, urbanism’s strength is in taking a long view. What urbanists do today will impact people and places for centuries. Designing for the Future is at the heart of our potential to shape places that meet people’s needs. When 75% of the world’s population will live in urban areas in 2050, urbanism’s offer to our planet’s future is to design well for it. 

Cambridge is a world leader in Designing for the Future. Its heritage as a university city powers its growth today as one of the fastest-growing cities in the UK. Its recent placemaking story offers solutions to global challenges. The city is proud of its recent investment in quality urban design and its emerging, shared civic vision for sustainable and inclusive growth. 

Rapid growth impacts how cities deliver improvements to people’s quality of life. It raises big questions about housing types, income inequality, physical and digital connectivity, resource management, and adapting historic buildings to meet climate change targets. Crucially, cities must explore how to involve people of all ages and backgrounds.

Congress in Cambridge is an opportunity for the city to share how it is Designing for the Future and for broader international perspectives on what Designing for the Future means and looks like elsewhere. 

  • How do cities address people’s social needs, shape their physical environment, and manage their growth pressures, to create communities where people thrive? 
  • How can partnership approaches build social and human capital? Is systems thinking the answer? 
  • How can innovation and specialist cluster quarters be integrated into city life and increase social mobility? 
  • How do cities use the momentum of positive infrastructure changes to ensure better life outcomes across city neighbourhoods? 
  • How do cities manage scarce resources and adapt existing buildings while working towards net zero targets? 

Programme Overview*

Wednesday 21 June 2023: Exploring Cambridge
Registration, Scene-setting city tours, and Congress Opening, followed by Cultural Reception

Thursday 22 June 2023: The Cambridge Story
Talks and workshops focused on Cambridge’s projects, challenges, and successes, followed by Civic Reception

Friday 23 June 2023: International Practice
Talks and workshops looking beyond Cambridge for inspiration in Designing for the Future, followed by Congress Dinner

*This programme is an idea of what to expect, and is subject to change


Read more about what to expect from Congress in Cambridge here.

In partnership with Cambridge City Council

The Academy of Urbanism (Number 2) Limited is a not-for-profit organisation limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales 0595604, 11c Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 IXE, United Kingdom.
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