The city of the future

The Future City

Cloud Skippers, 2009, © Clouds Architecture Office

Visions for the world’s towns and cities revealed in new free exhibition

The Future City, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London W1 1AD
10 February – 31 March 2015

  • What do changing demographics and lifestyles mean for our cities?
  • Can emerging technologies help future-proof cities and their citizens?
  • What might YOUR town or city look like in 2065?

This month (10 February-31 March 2015) the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) will open a new exhibition The Future City examining how future cities have been visualised over the last 100 years, considering what these depictions sought to explore, and outlining the UK’s key urban challenges over the coming decades.

Imagining the city of the future has long been a source of fascination for architects, artists, filmmakers and designers. Through drawings, maps and film, the exhibition will reveal a wide range of fantastical and utopian speculations, from tranquil green utopias and great domed constructions to vast, inter-connected mega-structures and machines.

Projects featured will include Cloud Skippers, the concept for flying machine-like cities dreamt up by New York designers, Architecture Office and the huge artificial landscaping of Singapore at One North by Zaha Hadid Architects. UK projects include the proposals for HS2 and designer Simon Elvins’ sound-mapping of Birmingham that reveals a hidden landscape of quiet spaces in the city.

RIBA President Stephen Hodder said:

‘Cities are at the heart of our country’s social, cultural and economic life. By 2065 the UK population may rise by 25% to as much as 80.5 million making it one of the EU’s most populous countries. This will create many challenges for cities and it presents a great opportunity for them to evolve and reinvent themselves, fostering a better quality of life for their inhabitants.  This exhibition provides huge inspiration for the challenges of the next 50 years.’

Alongside the exhibition, RIBA is hosting a number of workshops during the February half-term (17-20 February).  7 to 18 year olds and families are invited to learn how architects – and you! – will shape the future of our cities. More information at:

  • Design Quest: Green Growing Cities – For ages 7 to 11, Tuesday 17 February 2015, 11am to 4pm

  • Design Day: Size, Shape, Space: City of the Future – For ages 11 to 15, Tuesday 17 February 2015, 11am to 4pm

  • Design Day: Mutant Cities and Transformer Buildings – For ages 11 to 15, Wednesday 18 February 2015, 11am to 4pm

  • Skill Up: Apprentice Architect – For ages 15 to 18, Thursday 19 February 2015, 11am to 4pm

  • Skill Up: The Only Way is Up? – For ages 15 to 18, Friday 20 February 2015, 11am to 4pm


Notes to editors

1. For further press information contact the RIBA Press Office: 020 7307 3761

2. Press images for the exhibition are available to download here:

3. Visitor information for the free exhibition is available here:

4. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture and our members: Follow us on Twitter for regular RIBA updates:


Posted on Thursday 5th February 2015

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