The New Urban Agenda (NUA) has the dubious ring of so many millennial buzzwords – which belies the necessity and seriousness of of its implications for both architecture as a profession and the built environment.

Ahead of the 2017 Royal Institute of British Architects International Conference, titled Change in the City: opportunities for architects in the new urban agenda, renowned British architect, Norman Foster, spoke about the importance of interdisciplinary architecture in creating future cities.

Whereas the previous urban agenda, tabled at the 1996 UN Habitat II conference, focused on ‘adequate shelter for all and sustainable human settlements in an urbanizing world’, the NUA also has to contend with accelerated climate change and increased geopolitical instability. With our world in constant flux, Foster argues for a ‘revised interdisciplinary’ approach to thinking, planning and design.

“As a profession, we have to embrace other disciplines. The future and addressing the issues of greater complexity means that from the very beginning we need more disciplines working together. We can’t have the arrogance of believing that we can design a building and let the others kind of make it a reality” – said Foster.

For more of Foster’s views on the future of cities, click here.