What Future

What future logo_finalOn Thursday 3 November 2011, the Ove Arup Foundation, in partnership with the Guardian held a debate, ‘What Future? New ideas for urban living’, before an invited audience at King’s Place, King’s Cross.

The debate was set up by the Ove Arup Foundation in conjunction with the Guardian, and sought to kick-start discussions about citizens in the urban population – which now comprises more than half of the world’s people. Do cities shape society? Or does society shape cities? Why are people drawn to cities and what makes people want to live in cities?

The Foundation wanted to start a conversation on the living in towns and cities and examine the ideas that come out of the discussion with a view to identifying actions for those who design and influence our urban environments.

The panel of four prestigious voices in this area was made up of:

  • Alec Broers, chairman, Bio Nano Consulting; member, House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee; former vice chancellor, Cambridge University
  • Geoff Mulgan, chief executive, NESTA; former head of Policy and Strategy Unit, Prime Minister’s Office; founder DEMOS
  • Kevin McCloud, broadcaster, founder and director Hab Housing Ltd
  • Pam Alexander, Trustee, Design Council; former chief executive, SEEDA; former chief executive, English Heritage

The debate was chaired by Guardian economics correspondent Phillip Inman.