(Feb. 2, 2018) -- As San Antonio celebrates its 300th birthday, the city is sitting literally and figuratively “On the Edge of Future.” To help meet the needs of San Antonio’s growing population, an estimated 1.4 million residents over the next 25 years, UTSA has launched the Urban Future Lab.
San Antonio’s sprawling landscape is a product of economic and logistic optimization. While San Antonians are optimistic about their future and becoming more directly involved in the processes of placemaking, questions remain about the future of transportation, civic infrastructure, social justice and affordable housing.
How does the community increase the scope of design in San Antonio and leverage the city’s rich social and cultural currencies to more directly engage in spatial production and economic development? How does it capture the emergent nature of urban transformations while recognizing San Antonio as a collective cultural artifact?
To address these challenges and explore the rapidly changing dynamics of urban futures and how they relate to local economies and civic life, UTSA assistant professor Antonio Petrov has founded the Urban Future Lab. Housed within the UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, the interdisciplinary think-tank functions as a research and teaching laboratory and claims a leading role in determining the future of San Antonio’s built environment. The Urban Future Lab employs three guiding principles: Dialogue, Geography, Design-Citizen Agency and Public Interest Design.
“Our ambition is to activate new alliances and constituencies through dialogue with citizens, stakeholders and policymakers, developing inclusive environments in which we discuss and ask questions about identity, sprawl, cultural sustainability, ecology and mobility,” said Petrov. “We explore urban transformations from a geographical standpoint, considering questions of social and cultural equity while illuminating San Antonio’s most unique attributes. The Urban Future Lab proposes design not as an afterthought but one that is fully integrated, builds new capacities, addresses issues of equality, increases the economic vitality of communities, and fosters new ways to co-design and co-manage the spaces we live and work in.”
In conjunction with the Witte Museum’s upcoming Tricentennial exhibition, the Urban Future Lab and the Museum are jointly presenting a speaker series, titled On the Edge of Future: Narratives of the Making of a City, that explores urban transformation processes and asks how public interest design can have agency in the metamorphosis of a city in transition. In a sequence of events and exhibitions, UTSA and the Witte Museum aim to place dialogue into the center of their efforts; instrumentalize local, national, and international knowledge; and walk new territory as citizens and designers together in expanding the intellectual terrain. How are San Antonio and other cities, implementing transformations? What are the challenges? And how can members of the community preserve San Antonio’s core ethos while embracing change and progress?
On the Edge of Future: Narratives of the Making of a City, a three-part series, continues with its second event, “Urban Transformations,” on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 at 6 p.m. Speakers Iker Gil, director of MAS Studio, and Patty Heyda, associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis, will explore other cities that have undergone urban transformation. Gil will provide a comprehensive look at the history and transformation of Bilbao, discuss the role of the Guggenheim Museum and look to the future. Heyda, co-author of Rebuilding the American City, will discuss ways cities are mobilizing and transforming amid challenges. Darryl Byrd of ULTRAte will bring the presented perspectives into local contexts and moderate a discussion between the speakers and audience.
The series concludes with its third dialogue, “Water,” at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 9, 2018. The discussion will examine the relationship between water and human geographies and how the synthesis was instrumental in the shaping of San Antonio.
Learn more about UTSA’s new Urban Future Lab.
Learn more about UTSA professor Antonio Petrov.
Learn more about the UTSA College of Architecture, Constrution and Planning
San Antonio area high school and undergraduate students who participated in UTSA’s TRiO Upward Bound, Educational Talent Search and McNair Scholars programs will present their summer research projects and compete for top honors at the 8th annual symposium.H-E-B Student Union Ballroom (HSU 1.104/1.106), Main Campus
Experience a fun, interactive week at UTSA as new students and their families take the first steps to becoming a Roadrunner.Various locations, Main Campus and Downtown Campuses
Throughout the summer, UTSA offers more than 60 camps in science, engineering, architecture, sports, music, writing, language, culture and more.Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
This event guides seniors and graduate students on the last phase of their college career and prepares recent alumni within one year of graduation for the world of work. Workshops and sessions will provide information on interview skills, job search strategies and networking.Student Union, University Career Center, 2nd floor, Main Campus
The gala brings together UTSA alumni, friends and guests to celebrate the association's 41 years of scholarships, services, programs and the 2018 Alumni Award recipients.Hyatt Hill Country Resort and Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr, San Antonio
As part of the citywide Kidcation and the ITC's free second Sunday, kids and families will have an opportunity to interact with cowboy docents, practice their skills at roping, learn about life on the cattle drives, make their own spurs, grab a seat for cowboy story time and work on cowboy-themed hands-on crafts.UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
Dozens of fun and free events to welcome new and returning Roadrunners.Various locations, Main and Downtown Campuses
The kickoff to Roadrunner Days, the UTSA community welcomes the thousands of students who move in to their new homes as they begin their journey at UTSA.Laurel Village, Chaparral Village and Alvarez Hall, Main Campus