The Centre for Conscious Design

The City We Have in Mind #2

July 16, 2020 – 6:00 pm
Recordings (available to CCD Members)

In wake of the first meeting held on 7th May, it became quite clear that there was an urgent need to refocus on the main issues raised in the debate.

The curve of the pandemic finally seems to be flattening out or slowing down, and the virus even seems to be going away in certain areas of the world. On the contrary, in other places, it is still spreading like wildfire.

Even though the European Union, like every other country around the world, seems intent on launching a gigantic economic recovery plan, it is not yet clear how all these financial resources will be used. “The City We Have In Mind”, as well as other issues that were discussed, might receive plenty of support at the moment, thanks to the financial world’s fresh attention to certain structural changes that cannot be put off any longer, as this health crisis has clearly revealed.

The urban fabric, the interior quality of buildings, ‘domesticated’ nature, and the natural world, food chains, and farmlands, are all part of the same scenario. Meanwhile, the world is still under threat from global heating, whose devastating effects are rapidly becoming more apparent. Lastly, let’s not forget that COVID-19 has not gone away. The virus will probably come back in the autumn, even in those places where it seems to have vanished from sight when people start going back indoors again. Finding ourselves in such confined and uncomfortable quarters, why do not we try and set five priorities (i.e. five images of the city of the future), so we can try and influence how European institutions and governments invest the funds they have allocated for economic revival?

During the Webinar we will be organizing on 16th July, twelve experts, architects and town-planners will try and share their vision of the future of our cities.

They will each have five minutes to present five images or keywords, and after the images have been shown, the presentation will conclude with a debate to try and somehow sum up the main points that have emerged with a view to setting shared guidelines for change.

This event is part of an event series

Host Chapter / Organisers

Organising Fellow/s

Colin Ellard is a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Waterloo and director of its Urban Realities Laboratory.  Ellard works at the intersection of urban and architectural design and experimental psychology.  He has developed a novel set of methods by which the human response to the built environment can be measured using a toolkit consisting of both traditional psychological methods and sensor-based measurements of physiology and brain function.  Ellard publishes his work frequently in the peer-reviewed scientific literature but he also engages in extensive knowledge mobilization work involving collaboration and partnership with architects, museums and other NGOs. He travels widely giving keynotes for groups interested in architecture, design, and planning.  Ellard is an Urban Design and Mental Health Fellow, a Salzburg Global Fellow and an editor of the Journal of Environmental Psychology and the Journal of Urban Design and Mental Health. Ellard’s most recent book is Places of the Heart (Bellevue Literary Press, 2015).