The Urban Futures Centre at DUT (UFC@DUT) is based in the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment. The UFC@DUT is an interdisciplinary laboratory that not only builds theory, but also tests out ideas and interventions in ways that are not prescribed and determined by dominant stakeholders, be they government officials, academics or large social movements. The UFC@DUT seeks to find new solutions to problems, and to do so in collaboration with those most affected by the complexities that characterise urban spaces. The UFC@DUT serves as the central node for a network of projects, institutions, practitioners and academics interested in the future of cities locally (in Durban and South Africa) and globally. It currently houses a set of local and international research collaboration projects, including two community engagement projects. Underpinning the workings and activities of the centre is a concern with the real people who live in cities, and their futures.
Focusing on quality of urban life, the UFC@DUT utilises university capacity and resources to design sustainable urban solutions to everyday problems. Imagining urban futures raises questions on the types of thinking and practices required to make cities great places to live in. Integrating intellectual, theoretical, practical and community resources the UFC@DUT aims to build an interdisciplinary knowledge network, encourage processes of innovation and imagination, and engage urban problems and solutions through a systems approach. The UFC@DUT is a space of engagement and deliberation, which takes place through a weekly seminar programme as well as organised public debates.