What will urban planning be like in 2052?

That was the question asked at the one-day international conference Planning 2052 held in Shoreditch, London, on 25th January 2019.

The conference was part of the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019 autumn programme that has been testing ideas, research questions and formats related to this year’s Triennale theme.

At the art centre Rich Mix i Shoreditch, architects, planners, decision-makers, researchers, economists, artists and others met to work together to envisage the role of urban planning in the future – in a mix of inspiring discussions and inventive conference formats.

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Inventive conference formats: Audiowalk in Shoreditch. Photo: Frederic Tschepp.

The Norwegian climate scientist Jørgen Randers was the keynote speaker of the conference. 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’. 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.

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The Norwegian climate scientist Jørgen Randers was the keynote speaker of the conference. Photo: Frederic Tschepp.

All contributors: Jørgen Randers, Karl James, zURBS, Barbara Holub, Margareta Kern, Claire Louise Staunton, Building Conversation (Peter Aers), Common Cause Foundation (Emily Howgate), Leo Pollak, Euan Mills, Daisy Froud, Kate Raworth, Dan Epstein, Zoe Svendsen, Sunand Prasad and Finn Williams.

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Performance workshops. Here, «Parliament of things» by the dutch art collective Building Conversation. Photo: Frederic Tschepp.

Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019 Conference
Planning 2052 is part of the research work towards this year’s Oslo Architecture triennale. The triennale conference will be organized in collaboration with the National Association of Norwegian Architects and held on Friday 27th September, in the opening weekend of the triennale. See more images from the conference here.


Planning 2052 was funded by The British Academy. Core partners of the Conference: The British Academy, Rich Mix, The Architecture Foundation, Royal Holloway University of London and Oslo Architecture Triennale. Read more about the conference here.

Photo: Frederic Tschepp.