Future Londoners is a series of imaginary characters created to explore the possibilities of urban life in the future. These personas were created by Arup, Social Life, Re.Work, Commonplace, Tim Maughan and Nesta, and featured in an ethnographic foresight workshop co-hosted by Arup and Social Life at the x.Future.Innovation.Cities event in September 2013.
The personas build on experience in three areas: research on technological drivers of change in cities, creating fictional future UK cities and practical experience of working with London neighbourhoods. They reflect both the diversity of the city's residents as well as the trends shaping their future.
Planning for a future London is not just about big technology solutions or fancy gadgets. It is also about understanding the fears and desires of real Londoners, the constraints and opportunities they will face, and how people are likely to live in the future. Many of today's smart city technologies overlook the role of the citizen in favour of large-scale interventions and technology-led solutions. While this is important for solving some of the biggest challenges facing cities, the future of a liveable city is in the hands of its citizens - their experience of city life, and their willingness to adapt and experiment.
Being a Londoner is rewarding, challenging and frustrating; the experience differs from person to person, from day to day. So these profiles are not meant to be predictions for what it will really be like in a decade. Instead they are a tool to encourage conversation about the types of people we should consider when designing a smarter London. They are a way to help us debate the kind of future we want, and how we avoid the futures we fear.
Read more about the Future Londoners project here.