The Future is Now- A Letter to Arup by Rachel Armstrong

From thisbigcity a very informative essay on urban and commercial realities that are often glossed over in the search for the new…..

The Future is Now – A Letter to Arup by Rachel Armstrong

Response to The Under-imagined Future of Transport by Susan Claris

I don’t agree that the importance of forward-thinking long term planning is over sold! What I do think is over-sold – is the productisation of very specific solutions to challenges that are not well characterised and we don’t yet know how to face. The current economic & political system only deals with short term-ism (returns and period in office) so investment in research and development that deals with decade or more kinds of solutions does not exist to properly support the strategic development of implementable solutions. In other words, realistic future solutions are ‘evolved’ not ‘born’. So, in my view the ‘over selling’ stems from a contemporary set of expectations and restrictions where some/one is going to profit handsomely from investing in an immediate sole solution, wrapped in IP and patents, which cannot evolve on the basis of this legal bondage and whose benefit to society is ultimately of secondary interest!

In fact, the future is very poorly invested in and governments are currently slashing funding for basic science which underpins technological and economic developments. Central funding is becoming increasingly focussed on promoting near-ready-for-market research or bolstering established industry-research partnerships.

As for the issue of under-imagining, I don’t think that there is a crisis in this capacity at all!

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