Planning 2052

What will urban planning be like in 2052? This one-day international conference brings together policy makers, researchers, planners, architects and artists to envisage the role of urban planning in the future.



25 January

09:30 – 20:00


In 1972, the Club of Rome published “The Limits to Growth” – a pioneering study on the dangers of unconstrained population and economic growth. The study was received with denial. Critics refused to listen to what they deemed to be a ‘doomsday fantasy’, arguing that technology would remove perceived planetary constraints and that the global population and economy should grow unhindered forever. Only today are its predictions being seen clearly.

Forty years later, Jørgen Randers, co-author of “The Limits to Growth”, published a new study looking forward another forty years. Reflecting on the insubstantial efforts in averting climate crisis since the seventies, Randers predicted what the world would likely look like in 2052.

So, what is status quo in 2052 and what can planners do to ensure a better life for urban dwellers? What factors determine what happens to a site, area or a city when economic growth is no longer the dominant goal and human flourishing and ecological regeneration matter most? How do we take the first step towards long-term envisioning for alternative urban futures?

Planning 2052 will turn the tables on conventional ways of anticipating the future. Instead of starting with the question of ‘how to get there’, we will take imaginative jumps, assuming that positive changes are already widespread realities. The conference will be a day of both serious and adventurous discussion among inspiring peers and creative collaborators. We know the status quo is faltering, together we can envisage the role of urban planning in the future.

Programme highlights:
– Keynote by climate scientist Jørgen Randers, author of “2052” and “Limits to Growth”
– Panel discussion with economist Kate Raworth, author of Doughnut Economics; performance maker Zoë Svendsen and architect Sunand Prasad
– Workshops by artist Brandon Labelle, artist collective Building Conversation and Common Cause Foundation
– Audio walk by urban research collective zURBS
– Inputs by urban designer Barbara Holub, author of “Planning.Unplanned” and Karl James from The Dialogue Project
– And many others!

Read more about the conference, see the full programme and get your ticket here

The Conference is funded by The British Academy and is part of the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019 autumn programme. Core partners of the Conference: The British Academy, Rich Mix, The Architecture Foundation, Royal Holloway University of London and Oslo Architecture Triennale.