Futures, Culture, and Urban Planning: Insights from research on cities across the ancient Silk Road

Urban planners create the future. And while there is a long history of collaboration between urban planning and futures studies, further attention is needed to the ways in which forward-looking approaches can broaden how cities shape the future. One area that needs further attention is the role and function of culture in planning. Often viewed as an independent variable, culture is also an often overlooked aspect of urban planning processes. In this session, we share insights from research at the intersection for future studies, culture, and urban planning within the context of Post-Soviet Central Asian cities across the ancient Silk Road. Combining historical analysis and action-learning, we outline how planning has to be a dynamic process driven by participatory approaches, which relates directly to ongoing conversations about imagining how cities can cope with crises such as the Covid19 pandemic. Aditee would be joined by Dr. John A. Sweeney, Director, Qazaq Research Institute for Future Studies, who is her co-researcher and mentor for this study. This is a joint study conducted by scholars from Qazaq research Institute for Future Studies (QRIFS), Narxoz University, Almaty, Kazakhstan and Indian Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), Shibpur, India.

April 11, 2020


Aditee Prabhakar

Aditee Prabhakar

Research Fellow

Qazaq Research Institute for Future Studies
John A. Sweeney

John A. Sweeney

Senior Research Fellow

Westminster International University in Tashkent