In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; a worsening climate crisis; an increasingly unproductive political discourse; and a long-overdue reckoning about systemic racism, a popular narrative about the decline and even death of America’s cities has emerged. As the quintessential American city, Chicago’s collective future is similarly being called into question, even as these intertwined challenges put the individual futures of its residents at risk.
The Chicago Futures Project aims to open a space for the creation of informed counter-narratives for our city and ourselves, grounded in dialogue between academic and lived knowledges. What futures become imaginable for Chicago, in the light of recent scholarship about cities and the (eco)systems that they inhabit? What futures are being worked toward by our city’s communities and leaders, and why? And what futures can we envision for ourselves, as we each explore our post-2020 potential in the space of our world-class city?