Future Cities

Future Cities

Future Cities is a monthly podcast that aims to increase awareness of, and to catalyze action on, urban resilience. The show examines this topic by discussing ongoing research, highlighting current efforts, and sharing stories of resilience in cities across the world. By exploring a wide variety of perspectives, the show digs deep into understanding the many dimensions of resilience and the ways in which cities prepare themselves for the extreme weather events of tomorrow. New episodes will be released at the start of every month. If you have questions about things we've discussed or have suggestions for future episodes, please e-mail us at futurecitiespodcast@gmail.com or send us a message on Twitter @FutureCitiesPod.

Episodes

July 1, 2021 60 min

Marissa Matsler and Robert Lloyd explore another dimension of the series title, as they chat with the authors and editors of “Cities of Light” - a new book of science fiction stories focused on solar-powered cities of the future! Guests Joey Eschrich, Clark Miller, Deji Olukotun, and Lauren Withycombe Keeler talk about the creation of the book, the ideas behind it, and how science fiction can help prepare us for the possibilities -...

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The COVID-19 pandemic has upended so many aspects of our lives – from the ways we socialize, the ways and places where we spend our free time, and the ways in which we work. Which, if any, of these changes will persist once the pandemic is behind us? This month, our guests are Dr. Laura Schewel (CEO of StreetLight Data) and Dr. Carlo Ratti (Director of the Senseable City Lab at MIT). We discuss whether work-from-home momentum will ...

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Doctors Marta Berbes, Nancy Grimm, Robert Hobbins, and Timon McPhearson join Robert Lloyd to talk about how scenarios of future city transformations are analyzed and turned into products that can be understood and used by city practitioners, and the general public, as well as other researchers. Scenarios provide potential goals for practitioners in city government and other actors to work towards in efforts to ensure greater sustai...

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Doctors Elizabeth Cook, David Iwaniec, Lelani Mannetti, and Tischa Muñoz-Erickson join Robert Lloyd to talk about the production of scenarios for future city transformations. Scenarios provide potential goals for practitioners in city government and other actors to work towards in efforts to ensure greater sustainability, resilience, and equity. Co-production of knowledge, limits of future visions, and the challenges to realizing s...

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April 15, 2021 78 min

When asked what infrastructure are supposed to do, responses of course vary dramatically from the mundane (for example, provide water and power) to the abstract (for example, facilitate improved well-being through the delivery of basic services). Of course, both are right on some level. But what is often lost is the perspective of the values that we use to design and operate infrastructure systems. In the third and final episode of...

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April 1, 2021 86 min
It's widely recognized that infrastructure are central to societal goals, that changes to infrastructure and how we use them can have profound impacts on people and economies. It's critical to recognize that infrastructure are the hammer at the end of the arm, and the arm is governance. In the second episode of the Infrastructure of the Anthropocene series, Professor Mikhail Chester (@mikhailchester) of Arizona State Un...
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People often think of infrastructure as merely physical assets, but they are the outcome of cultural preferences and how we generate knowledge. In this episode, Professor Mikhail Chester (@mikhailchester) of Arizona State University interviews Professor Thaddeus Miller (@Thad_Miller) of University of Massachusetts Amherst about infrastructure governance, the knowledge systems embedded in organizations and governance network...

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March 1, 2021 37 min

Climate change has contributed to the severity of tropical storms, causing unprecedented coastal erosion and record rates of flooding. Countries around the world are searching for ways to prevent tropical storms from decimating their coastal infrastructure, and the University of Miami has found a tropical solution: coral reefs. Coral reefs can reduce wave energy by up to 97%. However, corals have also suffered from climate change, ...

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 Dr. Lelani Mannetti (Twitter @LelaniM) is a postdoctoral researcher at Georgia State University's Urban Studies Institute. Her research focuses on the analysis of social-ecological systems, particularly surrounding adaptive co-governance of complex systems. In this episode, Dr. Yeowon Kim (Twitter @Yeowon__Kim) talks with her about how she became interested in integrating social, ecological, and technological dimension...

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Dr. Marccus Hendricks is an Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning in the School
of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at the University of Maryland, College Park. Here,
Marissa Matsler interviews Dr. Hendricks about his work with communities throughout his
dissertation research in Texas and as an early career researcher in Maryland. He discusses his
bold visions for the future in which we collectively seize on the opp...

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Dr. Prentiss Dantzler (Twitter @DocDantzler) is an Assistant Professor at Georgia State University's Urban Studies Institute. His research focuses on the intersection of housing policy, urban poverty, race and ethnic relations, and community development. In this episode, Robert Lloyd speaks with Dr. Dantzler about urban equity questions, representation, and the challenges of researching and teaching during a long-running gl...

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Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd (Instagram @marsh4fsu, Twitter @DrShepherd2013) is a distinguished meteorologist, professor, writer, podcaster… and that only begins to share all his accomplishments! Here he chats with Robert Lloyd about science communication, the intersections of climate and social equity, the COVID-19 pandemic, and more.

Learn more about Dr.  Shepherd, you can visit his personal website or the University of Georgi...

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January 1, 2021 44 min

The Hudson River flows from the alpine peaks of New York State’s Adirondack Mountains to the harbor of New York City. Its tidal valley includes diverse suburban communities and post-industrial cities that will face new challenges from sea level rise and amplified storms as climate changes over the next few decades. In this episode, George Scott interviews Dr. Klaus H. Jacob, an expert in disaster risk at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Ob...

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Host Jason Sauer (PhD candidate, ASU) talks with researcher Heidy Correa (Master of Science, Universidad Austral de Chile) about a grassroots community organization in Valdivia, Chile, that was instrumental in the spread of a wetland conservation ethos across the city. Counter to the work that we often highlight in this podcast, this wetland conservation effort started with a single person and spread upward to academics and politic...

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New Orleans, Louisiana faces ecological challenges, but also social challenges in learning to adapt to climate change and to adopt new water management techniques. The existing stormwater infrastructure isn’t cutting it, but new methods have been slow to be implemented. Robert Lloyd(@RL_Grey) discusses why, then interviews Jessica Dandridge, Executive Director of the Water Collaborative, who is one of the people helping to move...

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October 2, 2020 44 min

Pedestrian deaths in the United States have risen by 50% since 2009, with over 6,000 pedestrians dying in 2018 alone. In this month's episode, Stephen Elser (@stephen_elser) talks with our guest, Angie Schmitt (@schmangee), about her recent book addressing some of the factors that have led to this silent epidemic. She explains how marginalized groups tend to be most vulnerable to traffic violence and how systemic racism...

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September 11, 2020 52 min

Roughly 1.6 billion people across the world live in inadequate, unsafe, and overcrowded shelter. In this episode, Stephen Elser (@stephen_elser) interviews Alan Marcus, the Chief Digital Strategy Officer of Planet Smart City, about what his company is doing to address the global housing crisis by building smart and affordable communities across the world. For Planet Smart City, "smart" is all about thinking in terms of ...

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August 1, 2020 46 min

There are many ways to refer to nature in cities: urban green space, nature-based solutions, green infrastructure… But which name is best? Does it really even matter what names we used to describe urban nature? In this episode, Stephen Elser (@stephen_elser) interviews Dr. Dan Childers (director of @caplter) about some of the issues with various terms to describe urban nature, and a relatively new term that he prefers: urba...

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July 1, 2020 44 min

Dr. Elsa Anderson stops by the show to talk with us about vacant lots and urban biodiversity, or how urban areas can provide spaces for many species of plants and animals. Dr. Anderson has worked on plant diversity in cities as diverse as Chicago, Illinois and Berlin, Germany. Her recent publications explore how different management strategies of vacant lots in cities, actions as simple as mowing or installing fences, or as complex...

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In today’s rapidly evolving climate, and amid unprecedented technological disruptions, engineers and designers seek infrastructure solutions that are resilient to both known and unknown future conditions. This podcast explores the use of biomimicry to provide examples and guidance for resilient infrastructure systems, spanning theory and practice. We evaluate opportunities for improving design, prompted through consideration of Lif...

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