News and Coverage

Urban Futures

City Tech
Location: Imperial Ballroom
Average rating: ***..
(3.93, 15 ratings)

When we look at the world around us we see many examples of places and spaces that we both love and hate. What would you “cut and paste” from different parts of your city to create the ideal sustainable urban environment? Arup has spent a number of years discussing what the eco-city would need to look like if we are going to move towards an Ecological Age. Yet, there are more questions than answers. There are more challenges than solutions.

This talk will define six of the Drivers of Change to which Arup has been asked to respond to in the attempt to make the urban eco-city of tomorrow a reality. There are very clear visions for the eco-city of tomorrow and we have begun to work out how we can move to the path of realization.

Photo of Chris Luebkeman

Chris Luebkeman


Dr. Chris Luebkeman is a bridge builder of many kinds. He is a third generation educator who has been formally educated as a geologist, structural engineer and architect who believes that successful design cannot be separated from breadth of knowledge and steadfast inquiry. Prior to joining Arup in 1999, he taught in the Departments of Architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology [ETH] in Zurich, the University of Oregon, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT].

His industry funded research program at MIT, which continues today, is entitled ‘house_n; MIT’s intelligent home of the future.’ This is a technology and tectonic exploration of the integration of the digital with the physical.

He continues to utilize his broad interests and enthusiastic belief in our zeitgeist in his current position as Director for Global Foresight and Innovation at Ove Arup & Partners ( headquartered in London. His experiences have enabled him to specialize in being a generalist with a view to being “in league with the future.”

Chris joined Arup to become joint Director of Research and Development. He co-led a group of over fifty of the firm’s most highly skilled and technically able individuals. He was responsible for developing the role of the group with a focus on design research. He has enjoyed a particular responsibility within the Arup Group for encouraging and mentoring innovation projects.

Chris is an active facilitator and motivational speaker. He lectures widely [51 cities in 26 countries in 2006-2008] on the future, sustainability, and innovation, as well as on research at Arup.

facilitated the creation of an eCommerce strategy, initiated a series of research projects on the future and is constantly encouraging lateral thinking. He is a member of Arup’s Design and Technical Executive which promotes the highest standards of design and technical skill to ensure that Arup is one of the world’s leading practitioners in its chosen fields.

He is currently spending most of his time and energy building a better understanding of the way in which the driving forces of global change should be incorporated into more effective global business strategies. His current role puts him at the forefront of understanding where ‘things are heading’ and enables Arup to be there first.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Picture of Stephen Howard
Stephen Howard
03/12/2009 8:03pm PDT

I appreciated a lot of Chris’ stories and thought-bites, but I’m didn’t feel like we got to a point where he tied it all together (though I did like his parting thought on cutting/pasting).

  • Sun Microsystems
  • Yahoo! Inc.
  • IEEE
  • Make magazine
  • Orange Labs