6 \ How to develop sustainably through design?

In this episode, our guest is futurist and entrepreneur Aleksi Neuvonen. Aleksi is one of the founders of Demos Helsinki and has written a dissertation in which he challenges municipalities to identify social change forces and their effects.

In the episode, we discuss how design should be used in the sustainable development of cities. We will also hear how the backcasting method is related to city design, and how data can be utilised in designing cities.

"We can have conflicting wishes about the direction where our society is going. The goal of discussing the future and forecasting is to create alternative futures in which different target states have been achieved. It is important that people can understand the direction we are going and what it should be in the future."

Material recommendations by Aleksi:

The Ministry for the Future

Kim Stanley Robinson, Orbit 2021

Short summary of the episode:

In this episode, Aleksi Neuvonen delves into the transformative role of design in shaping the future of cities, emphasising its ability to infuse a human perspective into urban planning. Aleksi highlights the significance of citizen involvement as a catalyst for city development, showcasing how people's initiatives, events, and sense of ownership contribute significantly to the urban environment. He also shares some successful examples of urban development through design methods, such as collaborative visioning, backcasting, and leveraging megatrends when creating city strategies.

In the episode, Aleksi underscores the importance of future forecasting and scenario planning in city development, promoting a shared vision and commitment to a desired direction. The fusion of qualitative and quantitative data emerges as a key strategy for understanding development trends, gauging public sentiment, and informing intelligent decision-making. The discussion advocates for a holistic approach, emphasising the need for diverse actors to engage in collective envisioning of the city's future, fostering understanding and collaboration.

Addressing the question of sustainable urban development through design, Aleksi suggests initiatives to involve citizens more broadly, including joint workshops and discussion events that encourage diverse perspectives and solutions. He encourages the collection and versatile use of qualitative and quantitative information to enhance decision-making processes. Additionally, the experimentation with small-scale design projects as part of city service development demonstrates a commitment to practical, hands-on approaches in achieving a living, sustainable, and people-oriented city. Overall, Aleksi highlights the power of design in shaping urban landscapes that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also socially vibrant and environmentally sustainable.

Guest: Aleksi Neuvonen, Futurist & Entrepreneur, Demos Helsinki

Material recommendations by Aleksi:

The Ministry for the Future

Kim Stanley Robinson, Orbit 2021

Short summary of the episode:

In this episode, Aleksi Neuvonen delves into the transformative role of design in shaping the future of cities, emphasising its ability to infuse a human perspective into urban planning. Aleksi highlights the significance of citizen involvement as a catalyst for city development, showcasing how people's initiatives, events, and sense of ownership contribute significantly to the urban environment. He also shares some successful examples of urban development through design methods, such as collaborative visioning, backcasting, and leveraging megatrends when creating city strategies.

In the episode, Aleksi underscores the importance of future forecasting and scenario planning in city development, promoting a shared vision and commitment to a desired direction. The fusion of qualitative and quantitative data emerges as a key strategy for understanding development trends, gauging public sentiment, and informing intelligent decision-making. The discussion advocates for a holistic approach, emphasising the need for diverse actors to engage in collective envisioning of the city's future, fostering understanding and collaboration.

Addressing the question of sustainable urban development through design, Aleksi suggests initiatives to involve citizens more broadly, including joint workshops and discussion events that encourage diverse perspectives and solutions. He encourages the collection and versatile use of qualitative and quantitative information to enhance decision-making processes. Additionally, the experimentation with small-scale design projects as part of city service development demonstrates a commitment to practical, hands-on approaches in achieving a living, sustainable, and people-oriented city. Overall, Aleksi highlights the power of design in shaping urban landscapes that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also socially vibrant and environmentally sustainable.

© 2023 Digitalist Group. All Rights Reserved.