2030: Artifacts from the Future of America’s Cities

Civic engagement is not a static, one time interaction. It also doesn’t have to look or feel a certain way. Part of the work of Civic I/O is to push boundaries, sparking and maintaining a dialogue within communities. In 2018 Civic I/O began to explore the role of public art in the work of cities to reflect on the past and envision the future.

In March 2018, as part of our annual summit, 18 mayors participated in a series of “civic imagination” workshops to teach them concepts and methods in strategic foresight. In conjunction with the IFTF’s Governance Futures Lab, and CMU’s Situation Lab the mayors worked through a series of hands-on exercises to uncover their hopes, fears, dreams, and the legacy they wished to leave for their cities.

Inspired by these stimulating conversations with mayors, teams of designers, architects, and futurists collaborated with artists from around the country to create original posters that might appear in each city in the year 2030. The posters presented here — a birthday invitation, a festival announcement, a roadside attraction, a wayfinding kiosk, a virtual experience, and a political advertisement — are the first six artifacts to appear in the present.

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