When we think about the future, we usually paint rather dark pictures. This also applies to the future of cities: Uncontrolled growth, congested roads, lack of housing or social inequality - the downsides of urban development are obvious. What we lack, however, are courageous, utopian visions of what the cities of tomorrow could be.
"We need renewed optimism"
Those who follow political debates and urban planning discussions might feel that society has forgotten its potential for visionary thinking somewhat. Negative scenarios or relatively minor problems often dominate discussions. Radical ideas for the future, however, are rare, especially when it comes to matters of community, coexistence and quality of urban life. "We need an urgent increase in foresight and renewed optimism when it comes to concerns of the future," says Franziska Schreiber.
This requires the creation of imaginative thinking spaces and fora where visionary alternatives can be contemplated and encouraged, and challenge common patterns of thought. So far, the city of tomorrow is still being approached from a very technocratic standpoint - using typical planning categories such as housing, energy, water, and transport. Questions of happiness and meaning hardly feature in planning and participation processes. Given that people ultimately assess the quality of their living space on a subjective level, it would make more sense for planning discussions to take account of how people perceive their environment and how this affects them.
"How does your town sound?" Developing new visions at the adelphi workshop
On 1 September 2018, adelphi will dedicate itself to this topic during the Z2X Festival for Emerging Visionaries of ZEIT ONLINE. At the workshop "How does your city sound? Urban Images of the Future", which takes place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Ding Dong Dome at Holzmarkt, visions of the urban future will be developed using all the senses. "How should the city of the future sound?", "What colour should it be?", “How does it feel?": Questions like these will be in focus.