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Re-Imagining Cities: Urban Design after the Age of Oil

January 11, 2010 — The University of Utah College of Architecture + Planning is hosting a groundbreaking exhibition showcasing the new visions of architects, planners, policy makers, and designers for our lives and our cities in a future without oil. This exhibition provides a graphic tour of both real-world and exploratory ideas, projects, and designs.

In a time of rising oil prices and grave environmental concerns Re-Imagining Cities addresses the profound need for urban innovation at every level, from the way we commute to the way we plan and develop entire regions. These new approaches are crucial to ensuring that our cities continue to thrive in a world without the abundant oil that has historically given rise to our most prosperous urban areas.

“In order to meet the new challenges facing our urban environments, designers must operate on every scale, whether they are planning entirely new cities or rethinking the products that affect our daily lives,” says Brenda Scheer, Dean of the College of Architecture + Planning. “This exhibition of projects from around the world illustrates their imagination and their resourcefulness.”

In the face of one of the most profound and important challenges facing global society-our dependence on oil-the need to re-imagine and rethink how cities are designed and organized is vital. In a future without the plentiful and abundant oil upon which prosperous urban economies have been built, how will we meet these challenges?

Are there, perhaps, opportunities within this energy crisis to create better, healthier, safer communities? Our global society is on the brink of momentous change. Many of the most basic things we do-commuting, consuming, communicating-will have to be done differently. The innovations featured in this exhibition help imagine a collective future.

From alternative fuels that make the automobile more sustainable and radical reinventions of our transportation networks to strategies for conserving our resources and designs that revamp our power supplies from the ground up, from plans to return green space to our cities to visions of our cities as part of nature, the exhibition speaks of adapting urban areas for new environmental pressures, advancing transportation and energy systems, and aspiring to new forms of metropolitan living.

Re-Imagining Cities will be on display in the Bailey Gallery of the College of Architecture + Planning from January 14th through February 5th from 8am to 5pm (Monday through Friday). Please join us for an opening reception on Wednesday, January 13th at 5:30pm in the gallery. For additional information, please contact (801) 581.8254.