Insights · February 25th, 2009

The Atlanta Regional Commission is the regional governance organization for Atlanta and surrounding counties. I first met them in the 1990’s when they invited me to assist in a project called Atlanta Vision 2020. In 2007, I assisted their Board and management in a long-range planning retreat. Later that year the ARC kicked off a new long-range thinking project called “Fifty Forward,” an effort to imagine the Atlanta region circa 2060. We have displayed a video here for some time that was part of the kick-off event, of children discussing their future visions.

I was invited to give the keynote speech for the Fifty Forward kick-off, which was the annual Economic Forecast breakfast, attended by about 1200 regional residents. After my speech on that November day, we taped a television interview. It is perhaps the best TV interview that I have been involved with, and the ARC recently gave me permission to display the video here at

In the interview, conducted by Susan Hoffman, I focus on the forces shaping the future of Atlanta and the future of cities in general. These forces are an aging population, energy and environmental trends that suggest a need to shift away from a car-centered life-style, and the entire housing crisis, in particular the fact that we build the wrong dwellings for the future. In short, cities will need to move toward more walkable, sustainable, and efficient forms in order to flourish in the future.

Since the interview, gasoline prices have sky-rocketed, then plummeted, but the same principles apply to the future of cities and urban form. Watch the interview and let us know what you think.

Glen Hiemstra is a futurist speaker, consultant, blogger, internet video host and founder of To arrange for a speech contact

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Nikolas Badminton – Chief Futurist

Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas is the Chief Futurist of the Futurist Think Tank. He is world-renowned futurist speaker, a Fellow of The RSA, and has worked with over 300 of the world’s most impactful companies to establish strategic foresight capabilities, identify trends shaping our world, help anticipate unforeseen risks, and design equitable futures for all. In his new book – ‘Facing Our Futures’ – he challenges short-term thinking and provides executives and organizations with the foundations for futures design and the tools to ignite curiosity, create a framework for futures exploration, and shift their mindset from what is to WHAT IF…

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