Imagining a Better Future: why fun works

Malene Freudendal-Pedersen, Ole B. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPaper without publisher/journalResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This paper is the outcome of work done on utopias of mobility, discussing different utopian visions from architects, planners, activists and mobility researchers. The work has raised a number of questions on why utopias are important in activating and building different futures. Though it is crucial to address the increasing social and environmental problems of contemporary urban societies with a certain element of ‘realism’ (whatever that may mean), the position taken in this paper is rather that we must find new ways of imagining ‘that which is not’. Within mobilities research only recently work on imagining better futures have been practiced. Dennis and Urry sets out in 2009 by constructing three scenarios of possible, probable, and preferable futures. These three scenarios are in each their own way illustrative of a somewhat depressing future. However, in his most recent book Urry argues that a post-carbon and post-car scenario answer to the climate change needs not only to be workable (i.e. ‘realist’), but also appealing. He argues: ’It [the post car scenario] has to be a system that is fashionable and faddish, that wins then hearts and minds, that is better and more fun’ (Urry 2011: 132). ‘Fun’ is the key word here that we wish to elaborate on. By using different examples from architecture, arts, and activism we wish to elaborate on how ‘fun’ may provide the opportunity for people to activate the hope, the good heartedness, the generosity, the need for communities and hopeful futures also present in people’s lives (Sayer 2005). In this way we wish to engage with the creative imaginary of playful utopian thinking. Moreover we wish to open up for a debate on this as a path into including affective and emotional dimensions that often are excluded by rational and strategic debates over future scenarios and possible developments.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2012
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventKonference. Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting 2012 Februar 24-28 New York - New York, United States
Duration: 24 Feb 201224 Feb 2012

Conference

ConferenceKonference. Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting 2012 Februar 24-28 New York
CountryUnited States
CityNew York
Period24/02/201224/02/2012

Fingerprint

scenario
utopia
mobility research
say
architect
realism
environmental impact
climate change
art
present
society
community

Bibliographical note

Paper for the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, New York, February 24-28, 2012

Keywords

  • Utopia
  • Mobilities
  • Fun

Cite this

Freudendal-Pedersen, M., & Jensen, O. B. (2012). Imagining a Better Future: why fun works. Paper presented at Konference. Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting 2012 Februar 24-28 New York, New York, United States.
Freudendal-Pedersen, Malene ; Jensen, Ole B. / Imagining a Better Future : why fun works. Paper presented at Konference. Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting 2012 Februar 24-28 New York, New York, United States.17 p.
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Freudendal-Pedersen, M & Jensen, OB 2012, 'Imagining a Better Future: why fun works' Paper presented at, New York, United States, 24/02/2012 - 24/02/2012, .

Imagining a Better Future : why fun works. / Freudendal-Pedersen, Malene; Jensen, Ole B.

2012. Paper presented at Konference. Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting 2012 Februar 24-28 New York, New York, United States.

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPaper without publisher/journalResearchpeer-review

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Freudendal-Pedersen M, Jensen OB. Imagining a Better Future: why fun works. 2012. Paper presented at Konference. Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting 2012 Februar 24-28 New York, New York, United States.