Watch again the webinar "The meaning of cities - a poetic foresight approach"

By Georges Amar

In addition to the scientific resources available in the "Food for thought" section, the Positive Future team offers scientific events, webinars, and online conferences to help participants in the contest, and for anyone interested in the themes tackled by the Positive Future project.

A city is not only a system. A technical, social, economic system. It is not only a circulatory, metabolic, informational machine. It is not only a "machine to live in", it is not only a social, physical and virtual network, and it is not only a complex, natural and cultural ecosystem. It is all of this at once, and above all, the human environment par excellence. It is where everyone can build their existence through encounters, attempt to realize their dreams, and at times go through a nightmare. And it is by fully integrating this human dimension that we must now reinvent the future of cities. Because cities need to be rethought in depth, integrating all its dimensions and its human signification. We need to rediscover or renew "the meaning of cities". In order to do so, the spirit of poetry will be at least as valuable as the usual disciplines. Poetry, by its very nature, stimulates imagination in a singular way and leads to unusual forms of intelligence of the "world" in general, and this also applies to cities. Poetry opens up a way of thinking about the future that is different from those inspired by both the "hard" sciences or by human and social sciences.

By Georges Amar, futurist and mobility consultant. He is also a research associate of the Theory and Methods of Innovative Design chair at the Ecole des Mines ParisTech. He was Director of the "Foresight and innovative design" unit at RATP. His publications include Aimer le futur (2013) and Homo Mobilis (2016).