Greg Lindsay's Blog

October 18, 2020  |  permalink

The Fast Company Innovation Festival: A New Urban Utopia?


(On Oct. 8th, Fast Company invited me to co-curate and moderate a session at this year’s Innovation Festival on the post-pandemic future of cities. I was joined by the McKinsey Global Institute’s Jaane Remes, Brave New Home author Diana Lind, CBRE’s chief economist Richard Barkham, and Honeywell Building Technologies CEO Vimal Kapur. Click here or the image above to watch the session, or here for an extended recap. A short description is below.) 

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended American cities. Downtowns have become ghost towns thanks to new work-from-anywhere policies. Food delivery and e-commerce are booming (though supply chains are being pushed to the max). Now that their residents no longer need to commute to work or to the mall, how are cities reinventing themselves? Some have taken this opportunity to close streets to car traffic in favor of outdoor dining, recreation, and retail—a new urban model hailed as the “15-minute city.” Others are exploring how to build much-needed new housing through relaxed zoning and new technology, and still others are developing plans to convert office towers into a new generation of “live-work-play” buildings. Cities have survived all manner of unexpected challenges, only to rise again using a mix of creativity and innovation. What will cities of the future look like? Fast Company and Honeywell took a fascinating look at the new urban landscape at the 2020 Fast Company Innovation Festival.

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Greg Lindsay is a journalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker. He is the director of applied research at NewCities and director of strategy at its mobility offshoot CoMotion.  He is also a partner at FutureMap, a geo-strategic advisory firm based in Singapore, a non-resident senior fellow of The Atlantic Council’s Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative, and co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next.

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