Cities of the Future

Presented by Mary-Ann Ochota

Building a plan for the future

While they face significant economic, social and environmental challenges, city residents also enjoy world leading opportunities for culture, employment and sustainable living. To build a prosperous country, we must unlock cities’ potential and give urban leaders the power to build a plan for the future. The Local Government Association, discuss how two cities are embodying what a city of the future could look like.

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Partner films

Building connected homes

The need for more affordable sustainable housing is not only important for the environment, but also to keep economies and local communities thriving. AtkinsRéalis is using digital technology and modern methods of construction to deliver social housing projects faster, better and more efficiently, helping to build connected thriving places that result in a more equal society.

Social purpose at heart

Regeneration has the potential to create spaces that bring people together and allow communities to flourish. With an extensive global portfolio across multiple sectors, family run business Bouygues keeps social purpose at its heart, working with local communities to build to their needs and develop long lasting relationships.

An exemplar of responsible, sustainable development

At 40 acres, the site of the former Earls Court Exhibition Centre is now one of London’s largest cleared development sites. The Earls Court Development Company’s plans look to reinstate the largely derelict site as a destination for entertainment, innovation and excitement. They have an ambition to be a global exemplar of responsible, sustainable development.

Positive environmental impact

The future solution requires a unified effort given we have until 2050 to achieve net zero emissions. Hull City Council are committed to driving climate change solutions within the city through a sustainable development approach. The approach has the potential to set an example for other urban areas, showcasing how to make a positive environmental impact.

An ecosystem for sustainable action

With the escalating climate threats and increasing urbanisation, cities must maximise natural resource efficiency. Planet Mark empowers businesses to drive a positive impact in the climate crisis by embedding sustainability into their everyday operations, driving carbon reduction, and ultimately transitioning to net zero. We went to 22 Bishopsgate in London to see how, through a collaborative effort, the building has become an ecosystem for sustainable action.

Co-existing gracefully

Cities are essential hubs for people to collaborate, connect and efficiently share resources. During the design and development of its projects, RSHP prioritises a vibrant public realm, ensuring these spaces are a positive, sustainable contribution to the community, and uniting public and private structures to co-exist gracefully.

Genuine social impact

Shepherd's Bush Market and Olympia hold iconic status in London, serving as vital centers for communities and residents. Yoo Capital's development projects for these sites recognises the significance of incorporating genuine social impact into construction and planning, with a strong focus on prioritising people and communities.

Enabling the country to flourish

9% of the urban land produces about 60% of the economic output. Think tank, Centre for Cities, is dedicated to improving the economies of cities in the UK, to enable the country to flourish. Their Chief Executive, Andrew Carter, spoke with reporter Bhavani Vadde about their vision for cities in the UK.

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Fit for the future

Climate change is having an impact on our built environment, our homes, buildings, communities and spaces. As the climate crisis intensifies and extreme weather events become more common, our buildings and critical infrastructure need to be adapted in order to remain fit for the future. The UK Green Building Council is calling for climate resilience, in the design and construction of the built environment, to become a priority for decision makers, to enable people and nature to continue to thrive.

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The affects of urbanisation and climate change

Cities across the world are feeling a strain on resources as populations continue to grow and the need to meet net zero targets intensifies. Urbanisation and climate change are having huge effects on the way we live now and how we will live in the future. In honour of UN World Cities Day, we sat down with Dr Jo Puri, Associate Vice President of Strategy and Knowledge for the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development.

This content has been approved by the featured organisation.

Presented by

Mary-Ann Ochota

Mary-Ann is a broadcaster and anthropologist presenting for networks such as the BBC, Channel 4, Discovery, National Geographic and Smithsonian. Trusted as a warm, informed and agile interviewer, Mary-Ann also writes and presents radio documentaries, is a podcast host and has also chaired public events and initiatives for museums. Mary-Ann has an MA in Archaeology & Anthropology from Cambridge University and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.


Cities of the Future

ITN Business present their Cities of the Future podcast, hosted by broadcaster and anthropologist Mary-Ann Ochota. Panel guests include Jack Pringle, Architect, Chair of the Board of Trustees and former Chair, at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Ana Yang, Executive Director,…

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The Net Zero Festival

For the official launch, our programme presenter Mary-Ann Ochota hosted a session at the event entitled ‘Net Zero & the Built Environment’ at the Net Zero Festival in London. ITN Business showcased a highlights film of the full programme, which was then followed by a panel discussion with guests Hannah Giddings, Head of Resilience and Nature, UK Green Building Council and Andrew Carter, Chief Executive, Centre for Cities.

This content has been approved by the featured organisation.

Watch the full programme

Each film included in this programme has been approved and complied by the brand associated with that content as identified in the descriptions above. Additional content has been approved by a featured organisation where indicated on this page.

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