Curated by Peter Van Goethem
What might the city look like at the end of the 21st century?
As we look to the future, the world will be shaped by its cities. The future will be increasingly urban, as the majority of the population will move to live and work in urban hubs. It is estimated that in a few decades, more than fifty per cent of the earth’s population will live in cities or their suburbs. Hence, cities will become the ultimate destination of the new generation, they will play a key role in the lives of everyone in the world. How these cities look, feel and operate has long been (and is still) a topic of interest and inspiration for many artists, designers, architects… Through their artistic work and practice, they imagine, depict and perform what the city of tomorrow might look like. Many of these visions of future cities aren’t constructed yet or they remain fictional, but this does not mean we cannot learn from them. They offer a challenging perspective on social, political, economic and ecological issues. They illustrate how a city can become uncontrollable or how it will remain a centre for innovation and freedom.
Nowadays, the organization of the urban public space and the urban fabric is already developing more and more towards a field of artistic collaboration between artists, designers, (landscape) architects, policymakers, technologists and urban planners. With the belief that artists are essential and hugely influential to the City of Tomorrow, the festival Art and the Future City explores what role the artist plays and which vision he/she has in perceiving, shaping and mapping the fabric of the future city. New and alternative forms of urban living are imposing new demands on cities. How can the future city be built and managed, taking these demands into account? How will it function socially, economically and politically?