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We are a multidisciplinary innovation studio working with diverse partners to understand sustainability challenges and identify holistic, resilient solutions, and we are committed to training the next generation of leaders.

Blog

Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.

City Literacy?

Peter Nicholson

Urban Loops and Wonder
The streetlights go on. The coffeemaker percolates. Potable water flows from the tap. The toilet flushes. The city works. Through Foresight’s various projects, I’ve been fortunate to gain an insider's perspective on many of these urban systems. We largely take them from granted, their reliability provided as a kind of birthright. The interaction of natural elements with physical systems, shaped and managed by policy and bureaucracy, creates a fascinating balancing act. The mechanics are largely, however barely, hidden from view. Our ignorance of these networks—which allows us to think about other things besides from where we’ll get fresh water, and how we’ll dispose of our waste and get to work—is sustained by the lack of feedback loops and visibility. I’m able to enjoy the benefits with little knowledge of how they’re delivered, which isn’t a problem, of course, until things go wrong, or need to evolve. Perhaps I possess a heightened interest in how things work, but I find the rich, and sometimes messy, mix of people, policy and infrastructure fascinating. And rest assured, it is changing, and will need to a lot more, whether you notice it or not.