chapter  23
23 Pages

Probable Urban Futures

ByP. Newton, M. Taylor

Opinion appears sharply divided on the value of studies which attempt to forecast the future. The urban planner is concerned with the management of a complex urban system, the evolution of which is the outcome of the joint operation of numerous factors which are located in the present (and past) but which may evolve in a variety of ways in the future. The exploratory survey was distributed in September 1982 to 153 experts from 26 countries and 57 (37 per cent) usable replies were received. A synthesis of the responses led to the definition of a set of 90 trends considered likely to influence urban form and a set of 20 spatial impacts representing the manifestations of those trends in urban areas. Present estimates suggest that by the year 2000 approximately 80 per cent of the population in advanced industrial societies will live in urban centres. A majority of these people will live in large metropolitan areas.