It is a still, close day in a Londres heatwave. I am at home but unusually the house and garden are empty. Even when I’m not feeling sociable there is a part of me that appreciates the buzz around where I live. In the future such conviviality in the city will be the norm.

Last night forty of us in a room in Forest Gate modelled what the future will look like. We gathered to discuss our dissatisfactions with housing in Londres, but most importantly to work out what we should do about it. To sit in a circle with forty people and reach agreement on what a better city would look like is a rare privilege in this age. In the city worth building, such conversations would be the norm.

Which is not to say that the democratic discussion is the only point of such encounters. Not at all. If anything what I get most from personally is the relationships built in such environments, the sense of belonging that can be built. It is possible that democracy, belonging and relationships among equals all mean the same thing, or could mean the same thing.