The purpose of Future Cities; Livable Futures (FCLF) is to open a trans-disciplinary, cross-cultural dialogue about the future. The Future Cities; Livable Futures Initiative proposes to explore the future of urban life and address innovative solutions to sustainably develop urban areas. The concept was developed by Adrian Parr and Michael Zaretsky in 2013 and began with a kick-off event: Future Cities; Livable Futures Symposium in Cincinnati in 2013. This spurred several events and initiatives across Cincinnati including Louder Than A Bomb Cincy and MetroLAB Public Interest Design/Build Program.
Over half the world now lives in cities and by 2050 the urban population is estimated to reach 6.25 billion with nearly 95% of urban growth expected to take place in the developing world. As urban growth increases the demand for freshwater, it also negatively impacts freshwater, sanitation, and stormwater systems. In addition, the effects of climate change, as droughts and floods, will intensify the water challenge for settlements and communities . Under these circumstances achieving equitable, sustainable, and efficient urban water systems and services demands innovative, inclusive, intersectoral, and international collaboration. Designing and planning for urban climate resilience and sufficient water supplies depends upon culturally appropriate socio-technical solutions that are alert to political obstacles, attentive of social biases, and responsive to economic inequities.
The 2019 Future Cities; Livable Futures: Towards a Sustainable Model for Urban-Watershed Systems conference and workshop provided a platform to introduce cross-disciplinary dialogues around sustainable urban-watershed management and explore best practices to explain and better understand the different factors that interact to form an urban-watershed system.
The 2013 Future Cities; Livable Futures: Symposium in Cincinnati, Ohio explored the future of urban life, and how to sustainably and equitably develop urban areas. With the majority of the world’s population now living in cities, new challenges have arisen in development and sustainability. The symposium examined the issues surrounding development in urban locations. Cincinnati is a mid-sized city and experts predict that cities of 300,000 to one million people are the cities of the future. Cincinnati faces challenges and opportunities in common with other cities across the country and the globe and serves as a city with a rich history to learn from.
MetroLAB Public Interest Design/Build Program
MetroLAB (2011-2018) was a Public Interest Design / Build program within the University of Cincinnati School of Architecture and Interior Design (SAID) in the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) that engages students and faculty from SAID, DAAP and across UC with local and regional communities and partners that would not otherwise have access to design. Architecture faculty ran projects in partnership with non-profit groups in Cincinnati. Projects included Five Points Alley in Walnut Hills and Pleasant Street Parklet.