Inhabitable Infrastructures : Science fiction or urban future? book cover
1st Edition

Inhabitable Infrastructures
Science fiction or urban future?


CJ Lim

ISBN 9781138119673
Published May 30, 2017 by Routledge
304 Pages

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Book Description

Inhabitable Infrastructures: Science fiction or urban future?, the follow up to Food City and Smartcities and Eco-Warriors, from one of the world’s leading urban design and architectural thinkers, explores the potential of climate change-related multi-use infrastructures that address the fundamental human requirements to protect, to provide and to participate. The stimulus for the infrastructures derives from postulated scenarios and processes gleaned from science fiction and futurology as well as the current body of scientific knowledge regarding changing environmental impacts on cities. Science fiction is interdisciplinary by nature, aggregates the past and present, and evaluates both lay opinions and professional strategies in an attempt to develop foresight and to map possible futures.

The research culminates in the creation of innovative multi-use infrastructures and integrated self-sustaining support systems that meet the challenges posed through climate change and overpopulation, and the reciprocal benefits of simultaneously addressing the threat and the shaping of cities. J. G. Ballard has written that the psychological realm of science fiction is most valuable in its predictive function, and in projecting emotions into the future.

The knowledge from the book is widely transferable, constituting both solutions and speculative visions of future urban environments. The book is indispensable reading for professionals and students in the fields of urban design, architecture, engineering and environmental socio-politics.

Table of Contents




Climate Change and the City


Science Fiction: The imagination sourcebook


Science Fiction or Urban Future?


The City as A Collection of Infrastructures


To Protect

urban future i     London is Flooding?

urban future ii    Swine Under the Sheltering Skies

urban future iii   The City of Frozen Spires


To Provide

urban future iv    Twenty Thousand Fish Above the Sea

urban future v     The City of A Thousand Lakes

urban future vi    The Forest: An infrastructure for urban resilience

urban future vii   Perfection


To Participate

urban future viii    Corporate Republic: The search for utopia


Research and Reproduction Credits





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CJ Lim is the Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at the Bartlett UCL and founder of Studio 8 Architects, a multi-disciplinary practice in urban planning, architecture and landscape focusing on cultural, social and sustainability issues. His other authored books published by Routledge include Smartcities and Eco-Warriors (2010), Short Stories: London in two-and-a-half dimensions (2011) and Food City (2014).