Urban Age Debate April 13, 2022

Imagining urbanity in the 2020s: Results of the Urban Age Debates

How will life in cities look like in the 2020s? Read our results in the Urban Age Debate Newspaper.

The world of the 2020s is volatile. Global pandemics, the climate crisis, digitalisation or increasing migration are continuously questioning the course of the future. For example, the COVID19 pandemic disrupted the rhythm of life in cities around the world from one day to the next.

This makes the shaping of our cities a daunting task and demands a new pro-active engagement to create futures rather than trying to predict them. With the Urban Age Debates, Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft together with LSE Cities reassessed public spaces, urban economies, mobility, governance, and sustainability to explore trends and design options for a livable, sustainable urban future beyond 2020.

The results of the five Urban Age Debates have now been published in a newspaper.

In view of the constant urbanisation, questions of urban life are closely linked to questions of social coexistence in the future. More than half of the world's population nowadays lives in cities and the trend towards urbanisation is continuing: By 2050, up to 80 percent of the world's people will live in urban areas, according to the forecast of scientists. Cities are therefore at the forefront of the current changes and challenges of our time. This poses a pressing question to mayors, urban developers and others on how to protect their citizens, make cities liveable, equitable and resilient, while fundamentally restructuring their economies for an increasingly digital urban age.

In the Urban Age Debates, experts from the field of urban development and design discussed the following topics in five virtual sessions:

  • Socialising Remote Work: Will changing patterns in knowledge work reduce or amplify the human need to meet in cities?
  • Humanising the City: Can the design of domestic and urban space promote cohesion and healthier lifestyles?
  • Localising Transport: Towards the 15-minute city or the one-hour metropolis?
  • Changing Cultures: How are cultural institutions reframing the relationship between the museum, the community and the city?
  • Rationalising Shopping: Are new patterns of consumption an opportunity for reinventing urbanity?

The Urban Age Debates are part of the Urban Age Programme, a worldwide investigation into the future of cities, jointly established by Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft and LSE Cities.

If you have any questions about the project, please contact Elisabeth Mansfeld.