UCL Urban Laboratory


Unmoored Cities: what speculative futures exist for cities in the face of climate change?

15 August 2018

As countless studies have demonstrated, cities are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change

From the series ‘Tellurian Relics: Surrealist Thames-side Piers’ by architect Shaun Murray. View of the pier from Clove Hitch Quay in a northwesterly direction at Battersea Reach, on the River Thames in London (2017)

Indeed, many of the world's cities are at risk of becoming 'unmoored', whether literally sunk beneath rising sea waters or tidal rivers or forced to relocate entirely. Such possible urban futures challenge our imaginations to think through the physical, social and cultural consequences of climate change; yet, on the whole, the current literature on climate change and cities focuses on the mitigation of rather than adaption to those consequences.

Following on from our one-day symposium hosted in May 2018 - Unmoored Cities: Radical Urban Futures and Climate Catastrophes - researcher Paul Dobraszczyk reports on our Medium blog from the talks which aimed to challenge and expand the narrow range of possibilities that currently characterise approaches to the subject through imaginative modes of thinking.

You can also listen to audio from the majority of papers and panels via our Soundcloud page.

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