Given the increasingly urban orientation of the world, how cities are shaped moving forward is critical. Social, economic, cultural and political disparities have long been named by communities facing marginalization. This is compounded by the heightened visibility of systemic racism - particularly its impact on Black lives - and its spatial manifestations in cities around the world. The field of urban planning and design is tasked with shaping our built environments and mediating our socioeconomic infrastructure. However, in many contexts - through ongoing processes of colonialism, capitalism and globalization - planning actually works to reinforce oppressive systems. The lack of critical interrogation within this field – one that fails to recognize its complicity, reach and impact on the everyday lives of communities – allows for the perpetuation of structural inequality and systemic injustice. Fortunately, Black communities have ever-persisted in organizing for justice.
Through the use of prompts, this project seeks to inspire the construction of alternative, more just urban futures - as conceived by Black peoples - beyond the confines of conventional urban paradigms. Rather than be prescriptive, the prompts invite Black city-builders to engage with frameworks which foreground the experiences and knowledge systems of Black peoples from across time and place, while acknowledging the deep diversity of Black thought. It compels its users to imagine urban futures where Black peoples are free and collective liberation exists.