Listen to WGSN Create Tomorrow: New Visions of the City

We felt it was about time to start sharing our bi-monthly podcast here. Co-hosted on alternative weeks by Carla Buzasi, our President and CEO, and Petah Marian, Senior Strategist for WGSN Insight, we have launched 14 episodes so far, featuring our global team as they have discussed a broad range of topics such as Global Strategies for Local World, Optimism and The Value of Beauty. Here’s a snapshot of our latest broadcast, in which we look ahead to the cities of the future…

Cities are locations that take up an outsized space in our imaginations. They are places that ambitious and creative young people aspire to go to in order to succeed and find their place in the world. Perceptions about cities in the wake of the pandemic have changed, from New York being described by its soon-to-be former president as a lawless ghost town to footage of the upper classes in Paris fleeing the density of the city towards their country homes.

However, the city’s role has been changing for some time now in the West, with spiralling rental costs and more precarious work driving young people to reconsider their aspirations. Forecasts that de-emphasise a physical presence in city offices are creating space for new visions of the city to emerge. Meanwhile, in East Asia and China in particular, smart technology, safety and sustainability innovations are being channelled into conceptual new urban centres, such as Xiongan city, near Beijing. So how do we best build towards a more humane, sustainable and equitable urban future? 

Create Tomorrow, the WGSN Podcast

Join our WGSN podcast host Petah Marian as she discusses the cities of tomorrow with fellow experts Sarah Housley, Senior Strategist of WGSN Lifestyle & Interiors, Jo McGinn, Senior Strategist of WGSN City by City, and Athena Chen, Senior Strategist of WGSN Insight APAC. Hear about our revamped City x City section, which brings destinations to people’s desks, with in-depth virtual city guides including video interviews, music playlists and an update on all the coolest hotspots in town, from bars to stores. We explore how cities can survive as creative hubs where people thrive and collaborate, and what the short-term solutions might be for retailers and hospitality companies in terms of rethinking and repurposing their spaces as strategies for coping with future lockdowns.

As the daily commute is compromised, we discuss the rise of localism and the 15-minute city concept. “It’s the idea that everything you might need can be accessed within 15 minutes in your neighbourhood. Its knock-on effects tie into ongoing issues we have around spatial equity and the climate crisis, and it all comes together in one solution, which gives us a much better work/life balance,” says Sarah Housley. Meanwhile, looking east to China, smart tech is being harnessed to form new metropolises based around safety and sustainability. 

New Visions of the City is episode 14 of our Create Tomorrow podcast, which you can find on Apple and Spotify. Tune in and discover tomorrow.

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