Urban Imaginaries and the Future


Nick Dunn's ongoing work examining future visions for cities, how and why they are constructed, has resulted in a book chapter, 'Urban imaginaries and the palimpsest of the future', published as part of The Routledge Companion to Urban Imaginaries, edited by Christoph Lindner and Miriam Meissner. The book delves into examples of urban imaginaries across multiple media and geographies: from new visions of smart, eco, and resilient cities to urban dystopias in popular culture; from architectural renderings of starchitecture and luxury living to performative activism for new spatial justice; and from speculative experiments in urban planning, fiction, and photography to augmented urban realities in crowd-mapping and mobile apps.

Urban Imaginaries and the Future

The volume brings various global perspectives together and into close dialogue to offer a broad, interdisciplinary, and critical overview of the current state of research on urban imaginaries. Questioning the politics of urban imagination, the companion gives particular attention to the role that urban imaginaries play in shaping the future of urban societies, communities, and built environments. Throughout the companion, issues of power, resistance, and uneven geographical development remain central. Adopting a transnational perspective, the volume challenges research on urban imaginaries from the perspective of globalization and postcolonial studies, inviting critical reconsiderations of urbanism in its diverse current forms and definitions. In the process, the companion explores issues of Western-centrism in urban research and design, and accommodates current attempts to radically rethink urban form and experience.

Book Title

The Routledge Companion to Urban Imaginaries


Christoph Lindner and Miriam Meissner



Publication Date

18th of October 2018


DunnDunn Nick Dunn Urban Design, Design Thinking, Design & Manufacturing, Mapping, Visualisation, Speculative Design, Future Cities