London 2015

Cities2050 – Securing the Future in a Connected World

The Royal Society of Arts, London

19 – 20 May 2015
On the 19th and 20th May 2015, 60 representatives from across London and the UK gathered at the Royal Society of Arts to discuss and explore the future resilience challenges facing cities over the next 35 years. Over the course of two days, the event chairman James Arbuthnot led participants though strategic briefings and collaborative workshops, investigating cross-sector solutions to known and unknown threats and the ever increasing pace of technological change in modern cities.

Outlook for the future of cities

Cities are concentrations of population, trade, commerce, cultural and social life.  They are an integral component of the change we face in the coming years both globally and locally.  They matter both to the UK and to global development.  They are also the sites where most future growth, both population and economic, is forecast to occur.
  • Demographic Change

    • Substantial growth of the population and increasingly ageing population
    • Change of population’s behaviour in the long term
    • Increasing interdependence and integration
    • Increasing scientific influence
  • Governance and Leadership

    • Increasingly strong arguments for local autonomy
    • More control over finances previously allocated centrally
    • Leadership challenges associated with integration and interdependence
  • The Environment

    • The simultaneous effects of urbanisation and climate change are likely to result in an increase in the magnitude of humanitarian crises
  • Urban Economics

    • Increasing unpredictability of technological change
    • Uncertainties regarding the future of certain work-types
    • Vast increase in the use of automation
    • Risks and vulnerabilities in supply chains
  • Mega Cities

    • By 2030 only 4 of the 30 largest cities in the world will be in developed regions of the world, and only seven cities in these regions will classify as ‘mega-cities’ – cities with populations of more than 10 million
  • Technology

    • Cities must focus on the long term effects of technological change
    • Connectivity leads to a connected society
    • Smart city technology becomes ubiquitous