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.


September 1, 2023 57 mins

Academic research, no matter how scientific, can be deeply personal. Pursuing a PhD in a field like urban resilience demands an unwavering dedication to the topic driven by a genuine care for the issues at hand. While this passion can help motivate scholars, it is practically very difficult to bring one’s full self into academic endeavors, even when an institution explicitly recognizes that individuals’ unique perspectives and expe...

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Urban green infrastructure has the ability to make cities more sustainable. However, the exact implementation of green infrastructure and the choices that must be made during implementation are still topics for discussion. Recently, the Consolidated Urban Green Infrastructure Classification (CUGIC) was published as a tool to help policymakers, practitioners and researchers assess the state of their urban green infrastructure releva...

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July 1, 2023 31 mins

On this month's episode of the Future Cities Podcast, Dr. Alysha Helmrich hosts Dr. Virginia Smith, who explores the future of urban hydrology. She covers a lot of ground! From the magnitude of flood impacts, the differences between hydrology and urban hydrology, the stakeholders in urban flooding, data collection and management for stormwater, integration of AI in stormwater management, and social vulnerability and equity. Tu...

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June 1, 2023 42 mins

On this month's episode of the Future Cities podcast, Alysha Helmrich interviews her colleague, Katherine (Kat) Shayne. Kat Shayne is the CEO of Can I Recycle This? (CIRT). A start-up homed in Athens, GA that helps cities, counties, businesses, and individuals properly dispose of products. Kat shares her own journey in sustainability that led her to creating CIRT and describes CIRT's mission and goals. You can learn more ...

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Dr. Catherine de Rivera leads a conversation with Carole Hardy and Eric Butler.  They dive into the social, ecological, and technological aspects of connectivity with an emphasis on the benefits of ecological connectivity. This podcast is rooted in work co-produced with researchers and practitioners from Portland, Oregon. This episode also features Sahan T. M. Dissanayake, Leslie Bliss-Ketchum, Jennifer Karps, and Lori Hennings. 

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Dynamic Criticality is the idea that organizations must constantly reform their priorities in the face of volatile environments to maintain an adaptive state. Infrastructure research has yet to identify competencies that might aid infrastructure organizations in achieving dynamic criticality. Ryan Hoff discusses how competencies from other organizations can inform how infrastructure managers can better prepare their organizations t...

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Pervasive across infrastructure literature and discourse are the concepts of centralized, decentralized, and distributed systems, and there appears to be growing interest in how these configurations support or hinder adaptive and transformative capacities towards resilience. There does not appear to be a concerted effort to align how these concepts are used, and what different configurations mean for infrastructure systems. This is...

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February 1, 2023 32 mins

Dr. Christina H. Fuller shares her work on environmental health and justice, particularly examining how air quality varies down to a block-level across communities. She provides insights on conducting participatory research within frontline communities and advocating for more inclusive environmental justice research. Dr. Fuller also discusses her diverse work experiences from industry, non-profits, consulting, and academia.

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Dr. Mikhail Chester hosts Dr. Stephanie Pincetl, whose work engages a multitude of disciplines (from engineers to urban planners to economists) to advance urban sustainability science and decision-making for water, energy, transportation, and land use systems. She explores how understanding and synthesizing these diverse systems surrounding our complex urban systems opens opportunities for future alternatives.

This episode...

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December 1, 2022 42 mins

The built environment has significantly contributed to climate change, and it is becoming increasingly clear that net-zero carbon emissions is not enough. Phil Horton and Alysha Helmrich discuss the importance of carbon capture and explore how cities may play a role in carbon banking. In this episode, we will discuss the role that buildings and urban infrastructure will play in carbon draw-down and decarbonization through: end-to-e...

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November 1, 2022 45 mins

Distributive, procedural, recognitional justice are vital for nature-based solutions, but these dimensions of justice have multiple and conflicting meanings. Drs. Katinka Wijsman and Marta Berbés-Blázquez explore how political theory and philosophy help in understanding differences and conflict. They present five key justice questions for researchers and practitioners to reflect with. One major takeaway? Praxis and reflectivity are...

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Whose voice counts? Whose visualization informs the design of cities? And how do we collaborate in nurturing resilient equitable futures? Join a conversation led by Ananth Udupa between Duván López, Mathieu Feagan, Melissa Moreno, Theresa O’Neil, and Daniela Moreno.


Follow the hosts on Twitter:






If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes, e-mail us at futurec...

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September 15, 2022 37 mins

This month's episode was initially published in Spanish -- the co-hosts' native language. Today, we are publishing a dubbed English version.


The episode discusses the NATURA Thematic Working Group  'Urban Informality and Innovation for Resilient Futures,' and the work strategy that has been developed in Bogotá, Colombia, so-called Local Labs, supported by @catunescosost, @ccdUPC, and @Unisa...

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September 1, 2022 58 mins

This month's episode is initially being published in Spanish -- the co-hosts' native language. On September 15th, we will be publishing a dubbed English version.


The episode discusses the NATURA Thematic Working Group  'Urban Informality and Innovation for Resilient Futures,' and the work strategy that has been developed in Bogotá, Colombia, so-called Local Labs, supported by @catunescosost...

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August 1, 2022 44 mins

This month's episode, Heat Risk, explores the risk of heat exposure in Phoenix, AZ but has relevance across the globe with the current heat waves being experienced. Dr. Alysha Helmrich interviews Dr. Yuliya Dzyuban and Adora Shortridge about their recent studies on heat risk in Phoenix, and she discusses the Phoenix Office of Heat Response and Mitigation with the director, Dr. David Hondula.

Yuliya's Pa...

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In this month's episode, Dr. Alysha Helmrich sits down with Marissa Webber, a PhD Candidate at Carnegie Mellon University, to discuss her recent publication: A Review of Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty Applications Using Green Infrastructure for Flood Management. We also introduce our new sponsor, NATURA.

Review Paper: https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2021EF002322
DMDU Book: https://link...

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This month’s podcast is brought to you by the children of Cadder Primary School in Glasgow and the Lost Woods Project to tell you all about their work on Every Tree Tells a Story in the run up to COP26 and work to create the Glasgow Children's Woodland.

Please note, this episode is partially recorded outdoors due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Follow the guests on Twitter: @CadderPrimary @The Lost Woods @everytre...

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Green infrastructure features are often celebrated as multifunctional solutions in cities, with an array of benefits that they could provide. However, the implementation of green infrastructure can also cause disservices, including gentrification when green infrastructure features are implemented without a plan for how those features will interact with existing systemic issues. In this episode, we speak with Dr. Fushcia-Ann Hoover ...

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April 1, 2022 80 mins

Dr. Sybil Derrible (@SybilDerrible) is the creator of the Actionable Science for Urban Sustainability (AScUS) society, and former chair of the International Society of Industrial Ecology's Sustainable Urban Systems section. He is an Associate Professor of Civil, Materials, and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois Chicago. His work embraces the growing complexity of cities, exploring our changing relatio...

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Discussions about infrastructure are often centered on the opinions and prevailing ideas within engineering, but other disciplines have valuable insights on what infrastructure is and what it can be. In this first installment of the 2021 Infrastructure and the Anthropocene series, Professor Mikhail Chester of Arizona State University (ASU) interviews his ASU colleague, Professor Chuck Redman, who looks at infrastructure from a more...

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