Generative cities

In her recent piece Generative cities, Ayesha Khanna argues that generative will be the key facet of succesful cities in the future. She unfolds the concept of generative as the ability to create a Productive, Personalised and Participatory urban experience.

While these three P words are mostly laudable, we need to take a step back and actually look at the word which Khanna also uses herself – create. For me there is no doubt that creativity will be one of the main assets for cities in the future, and cities that manage to foster preconditions for creativity. One could argue that only creativity implemented is useful but I would argue that cities which fertilise the ground for creativity will also be able to reap the fruits.

A while back I spoke to Phil Wood about creative cities and asked him why creativity is so important to cities. One of Phil Wood’s main points is that creativity is an asset that allows us to re-think the way we percieve our cities – to look at things anew. I think this quality of adapting, rethinking and ultimately implementing will be a key trait for successful cities and their inhabitants.

This should not just be futile thinking and must be turned into action but I think the words of productivity and generate resonate too much of a bygone industrial age.

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