The Future is Now: Urban Asia in the 21st Century Conference, Oct 8

The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future will host the conference “The Future is Now: Urban Asia in the 21st Century” on Wednesday, October 8th from 9a.m.-4p.m in the Metcalf Trustee Center. Experts from Boston University and elsewhere will explore various aspects of the social and environmental impacts of urbanization in Asia.

For more information on the speakers, panels, and topics, visit The Future is Now: Urban Asia in the 21st Century page on our website. The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required by October 1. Click here to RSVP.

BUs Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, the Initiative on Cities, the Center for the Study of AsiaGlobal Programs India Initiatives, and the Center for Global Health and Development, in collaboration with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and BU’s Metropolitan College, will be co-sponsoring the conference.


The Asian continent is home to a vast array of cities and urban conditions. From the futurism of Dubai, to the extreme contrast of wealth and squalor in Mumbai, to the spectacular rise of Shanghai and Beijing as global nodes of political and economic power, cities in Asia in the 21st century are redefining notions – both positive and negative — of urbanization. While it is impossible to identify a single model of urban development, cities across Asia are providing examples of ways governmental institutions, the private sector, and civil society generate and manage rates of urbanization at scales previously unimaginable; they are pushing the boundaries of technology, governance, ecological sustainability, and the very concept of progress. Based on the proposition that cities provide a critical lens into social, cultural, economic, and political relationships, and by association humanity’s capacity to solve social and ecological problems, this conference asks: how are Asia’s cities reshaping accepted knowledge about processes of urbanization and urban management? Speakers will examine established theories of urbanization and urban management and ask whether we have the appropriate intellectual and policy toolkit to address issues associated with rapidly expanding cities in the 21st century.

The full conference agenda is available here.