Branded Cities

Branded Cities

Can We Avoid an Urban Dystopia?

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With two-thirds of humanity predicted to be living in urban environments by 2050, cities need to be able to sustain the growing demands on their infrastructure. But if governments don’t have the resources to do this, will the role of city-makers fall entirely to corporations? And if so, will the metropolis of the future become a branded utopia or a commercial dystopia?

These are the questions that lie at the heart of our new placemaking presentation, which we debuted at the inaugural SXSW Cities Summit.

For those of you who weren’t in Austin, we’ve also created a PDF report based upon the same research.

: Top: Branded Cities visual by Inferstudio for The Future Laboratory
: System Aesthetics by Field, Self-driving Car


What's inside the report

This report explores the three preferable, probable and potential future scenarios of branded cities:

: The Preferred City

Civic brands transform the urban environment with smart networks enabling communities to collectively decide city infrastructure and policy.

: The Probable City

A precarious trade is stuck between brands and citizens, with private data being exchanged for better services and inner city resources.

: The Potential City

The balance of power it tilted irreversibly towards corporations, leading to a new class divide and erosion of privacy.

: The Moby Mart by Wheelys, Shanghai
: Hanger Inc website by DVTK 




Download the report

Can we avoid a branded dystopia?

Will the city of the future become a branded utopia or dystopia?

If you are looking at how to build tomorrow’s branded communities download our Branded Cities report.

To download your copy, add to cart and then complete your details on the following form. You will recieve an email of the PDF report.

This report is free for all members, please contact directly to get a copy.

*This is a downloadable PDF report. Please consider the environment before printing.

Branded Cities


Currency: GBP

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This is a critical time for smart city planning, with decisions made today that will affect tomorrow’s interplay between corporations and individuals, with huge implications for freedom, privacy, the coherence of future communities and the success or failure of brands adopting new practices in this burgeoning sector. 

Drawing on The Future Laboratory’s unique research and insights, our CEO Trevor Hardy, delivered our new placemaking presentation, Branded Cities: Can we Avoid an Urban Dystopia? at the recent SXSW Cities Summit in Austin, Texas. You can now book this as an in-house briefing for your own business or event, with an added strategic consultation about the role that your brand or business could play in a future city. We can also tailor the briefing to your bespoke requirements within the placemaking field. 

Branded Cities visual by Inferstudio for The Future Laboratory


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