Research and analysis

Future of cities: origins, meanings and uses

Report looking at how the changing language on cities is shaping urban development.


What are future cities? Origins, meanings and uses (WP20)

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This paper, produced by the Future Cities Catapult, reviews the origins, definitions and uses of the phrase ‘future cities’, and related terms like ‘smart cities’ or ‘sustainable cities’. It examines how different communities have interpreted ‘future cities’, including:

  • citizens
  • governments
  • corporations
  • academic institutions

Finally it considers how the way we speak about cities can affect how they are being designed and built.

This working paper was commissioned as part of the Foresight future of cities project.

Published 29 July 2014
Last updated 15 August 2014 + show all updates
  1. Retagged to Innovate UK, the new name for the Technology Strategy Board
  2. First published.