Imagining City Futures across Disciplines

19 November 2018, 9:00h-17:30h​
Agora, lecture hall XXII, University of Turku

Turku Institute for Advanced Studies
Co-organized with SELMA, in cooperation with the Association for Literary Urban Studies.

This one-day symposium brings together researchers of future narratives from across disciplines. Its focus is on representations of city futures across a range of genres, from literary fiction to futures scenarios, policy, and urban planning. It aims to examine the language, narrative frames, and metaphors with which future cities are told, and the implications of such discursive strategies.

>> Link to video recording of keynotes and other talks


9.00-9.10  Welcome & introduction, Lieven Ameel, Collegium Researcher, TIAS

9.10-10.10  KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Paul Dobraszczyk: 'Postcards from the future: imagining future cities and climate change'
This talk explores imaginative modes of thinking in relation to climate change, focusing on images of drowning or submergence produced by fiction writers, visual artists and architects. It establishes resonances between a range of imaginative visions of future cities that engage with the transformed urban environments that will likely be brought about by climate change.

Paul Dobraszczyk is a teaching fellow at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London. His most recent book project is Future Cities, Architecture and the Imagination (Reaktion, 2019). He has published widely on visual culture and the built environment, with recent books including The Dead City: Urban Ruins and the Spectacle of Decay (IB Tauris, 2017); London’s Sewers (Shire, 2014); and Function & Fantasy: Iron Architecture in Long Nineteenth Century (Routledge, 2016). He is also a visual artist and photographer.


Forecasting to ensure the safety of society
Vesa Valtonen, Secretary General, Security Committee, Ministry of Defense  

Ecological city visions and their impact on the development of Chinese cities
Outi Luova, East Asian Studies, University of Turku

Zoning Versus Private Action: Planning Texts and Urban Futures in St Louis and Houston, 1910–1960
Jason Finch, English literature, Åbo Akademi University

Future visions of the region Kotka-Hamina, created during the planning of the master plan
Kaisa Granqvist, Urban Planning, Aalto University

11.45-13.00  LUNCH


Thirty Years of Imaginary Los Angeles. Climate Change and the Retrofitted Megalopolis in Blade Runner (1982) and Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Kimi Kärki, Cultural History, University of Turku

Reading for Ruins: On the Post-Apocalyptic Tense and Context
Jouni Teittinen, Comparative Literature, University of Turku

The flood of 1862 in Viennese humorous magazines: Jokes and cartoons about natural catastrophe as means of urban improvement
Heidi Hakkarainen, Cultural History, University of Turku  

Participatory design fiction and future cities
Johanna Ylipulli, cultural anthropology, Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies

14.30-15.00  COFFEE BREAK

15.00-16.30  AGENCY & CITY FUTURES

Agency in Urbanizing Finland
Hanna Heino, Geography, University of Turku  

From co-creation to agency in urban futures
Kaisa Schmidt-Thomé, Demos Helsinki

Agency, Voices and Visions for Preferable Futures: Ethnographic research on the World Heritage Site Suomenlinna
Pauliina Latvala-Harvilahti, The Finnish Literature Society Research Deparment

‘Small Island States and their Little Capitals: Lessons for Climate Resilience?’
Milla Vaha, International Relations/Political Philosophy, University of Turku

16.30-17.00  ROUNDTABLE
 Methods, approaches and things ahead in Imagining City Futures across Disciplines



Organizer: Lieven Ameel / /