Visions of a better world are back in fashion. But while many urbanists dream of utopias, few show much interest in realising them. When Thomas More coined the word ‘utopia’ 500 years ago, he was playing with the Greek eu-topos meaning ‘good place’, but it could also refer to ou-topos, ‘no-place’. Is the latter a better description of utopianism today?
Filmed at the Battle of Ideas in the Barbican, the speakers are Alastair Donald, associate director, Future Cities Project; architecture programme manager, British Council; Sir Nicholas Kenyon, managing director, Barbican Centre; presenter, BBC Radio 4’s Cities From The Ashes; former director BBC Proms; Manon Mollard, features editor, The Architectural Review. The chair is Penny Lewis, lecturer, Scott Sutherland School of Architecture, Robert Gordon University; co-founder, AE Foundation.