chapter  9
From present to future: reasserting cities?
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Looking into the future is supposition without the possibility of any direct empirical back-up. Nevertheless, it can be argued that the ultimate raison d’être of any social science study is to provide knowledge of the past and present to aid in understanding how to create a better future. To resolve this paradox, social scientists extrapolate using a range of mixes of empirical and theoretical knowledges to provide informed speculation or ‘best guesstimates’, both utopias and dystopias. In Chapter 8 I identify the present as a putative metageographical transition called globalization in which cities are playing a key role. Here I accept the veracity of this interpretation and look at its implications for the future. However, I am not a futurologist; I do not offer extrapolations in the form of my own predictions of a possible city-centred future. Rather, this chapter brings together some ideas for trying to understand a future in which cities are becoming increasingly important.