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Envisioning Urban Futures

As part of The Long View Project, the Office of University Interdisciplinary Programs, the NC State University Libraries and the Initiative for Community Growth and Development invite you to explore cities of the near and distant future. Hear writers, artists and experts from across disciplines describe possible urban futures.

The Cities of Tomorrow

We can only plan for the future we want if we imagine that future in the first place. Join us as we ask scientists, artists, engineers, writers and other experts from across the disciplines to outline the future that they think is most likely — a business as usual future — and then also the better future toward which they are working. In thinking about those better urban futures, scholars will consider beauty, sustainability and livability, among other urban elements. Throughout these presentations a focus will be placed on the recognition that the human story is embedded in the broader story of the living world, one part of a bigger whole. 

This event will feature a series of short, TED-style talks, as well as poster presentations by faculty, students and staff from around the world at the messy interface between cutting-edge research and big picture thinking. There will also be food and drink, music and artistic interpretations of envisioned urban futures. (Artists working in all forms of media are encouraged to contribute. See “How to Participate”, below.)

Date and Time

Wednesday, October 18, 6-9 p.m.


Duke Energy Hall in Hunt Library, on NC State’s Centennial Campus.

Directions to Hunt Library and parking map can be found here.


  • 6-6:30 p.m. – Opening reception with food and music (including “future food and beer”)
  • 6:30-6:40 p.m. – Welcome (Dr. Rob Dunn, Senior Vice Provost, Office of University Interdisciplinary Programs, North Carolina State University)
  • 6:40-7:30 p.m. – Keynote Talks (a series of five 10-minute TED-style talks on interdisciplinary topics covering different aspects of urban futures – FULL SPEAKER LINEUP BELOW)
  • 7:30-7:40 p.m. – Break
  • 7:40-8:50 p.m. – “Open House” (posters, breakout discussions with keynote speakers, explore artistic submissions and more music and food)
  • 8:50-9 p.m. – Closing Comments (Dr. Rob Dunn)

Keynote Speakers

  • Kofi Boone – Joseph D. Moore Distinguished Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, North Carolina State University
  • Christopher Galik – Professor of Public Administration, Director of Sustainable Futures Initiative, North Carolina State University
  • Clint Penick – Asst. Professor of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Auburn University
  • Georgina Sanchez – Research Scholar, Center for Geospatial Analytics, North Carolina State University
  • Julie White – Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation, North Carolina Department of Transportation

Attendance and Registration

This event is free to attend and open to all, within and beyond the NC State community.  It will be particularly relevant to all who are invested in urban futures in professional and activist roles, such as developers, architects, community organizers, farmers and agriculture industry professionals, energy sector and water resource management professionals, and policy makers.

Pre-registration is required to obtain an accurate headcount for catering purposes.

Register for this event here.

How to Participate (Call for Posters, Art, Literature)

In addition to registering (above) and attending, we encourage you to participate in one of the following ways:

  • Posters – If you are a researcher (including graduate students and undergrads) who is doing work that is relevant to urban settings – particularly future urban settings – consider presenting a poster of your work at this event.
  • Art/Literature/Poetry – If you are an artist, writer (e.g., speculative fiction, poetry), visionary or dreamer who would like to share your vision of future cities and urban landscapes, please consider creating and submitting something to display and discuss during the “Open House” segment of the event.
  • Demonstrations – Are you an engineer or inventor who is working on ideas to improve cities of the future?  Feel free to bring and display a model of your idea and share your vision with us.

To submit your proposal for a poster, demonstration or artistic/literary contribution, please complete this form.

If you have questions or would like feedback on how to participate in any of the ways listed above, contact Dr. Jory Weintraub (

About the Symposium

This symposium is jointly organized and sponsored by NC State University’s Office of University Interdisciplinary Programs, NC State University’s Initiative for Community Growth and Development and the NC State University Libraries.

The symposium coordinators are:

  • Karen Ciccone, Lead Librarian for Public Science, NC State University Libraries
  • Rob Dunn, Senior Vice Provost, University Interdisciplinary Programs, North Carolina State University
  • Charles Flink, Director, Initiative for Community Growth and Development, College of Design, North Carolina State University
  • Adam Walters, Associate Director, Initiative for Community Growth and Development, College of Design, North Carolina State University
  • Jory Weintraub, Director of Science Engagement, Office of University Interdisciplinary Programs, North Carolina State University

More Information

For more information on this event, or to be added to an interest list, please reach out to Dr. Jory Weintraub, Director of Science Engagement (

This event is certified as a “Sustainable Events Champion” by NC State University Sustainability Office.