urbainable – stadthaltig. Positions on the European City for the 21st Century

Its adaptability and innovative strength have made the “European city” a successful model since ancient times. But, is it still able to meet the great challenges of the 21st century, namely climate compatibility and sustainability? The deficits of cities are obvious at first: they consume resources and fossil energy, emit climate-damaging gases, seal ground and generate waste. Cities are a burden on the environment and damaging to health, and are the scenes of social conflicts over the distribution of work, housing and wealth, for example. But would it be conceivable for the city to not only be part of the problem, but also part of the solution? Could its ability to renew itself become a driver of the necessary changes to cultural, technical and social systems? To what extent can urban planning and architectural measures promote such processes?

The title of the exhibition “urbainable – stadthaltig” of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, follows the hypothesis that sustainability and the city cannot be seen in isolation from one other. It addresses the role of the European city in the age of global warming, digitalisation, demographic change and the breakdown of traditional social networks.

During the opening weekend and the  accompanying events, the different positions from the exhibition will be brought into dialogue and discussed.

An extensive catalogue is published in an English and a German edition by ArchiTangle.

The current show was planned and designed before the coronavirus crisis, but the experience of the pandemic has been incorporated into its implementation. The immense adaptability and creative potential of our cities are already becoming apparent. To exploit this potential instead of merely trying to correct the deficits of cities – that is the leitmotif of this exhibition.

Niederbaumbrücke (Niederbaum Bridge), Hamburg, 2010

Nothing to see here, Berlin, 2007

Fox on the doorstep, Berlin, 2017

Cash machine at Hallesches Tor underground station, Berlin, 2017

Paris, 2017

Fridays for Future demonstration outside the Federal Chancellery, Berlin, 2019

Estação do Oriente railway station, Lisbon, 2016

Former runway at Tempelhof Field, Berlin, 2017

“urbainable – stadthaltig” is curated by Tim Rieniets, Matthias Sauerbruch and Jörn Walter. This project is part of the European focus of the Akademie der Künste for autumn 2020.

An exhibition by members of the Architecture Section of the Akademie der Künste, supported by the Wüstenrot Stiftung.

With the friendly support of PERI Vertrieb Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG and Euroboden GmbH.

Funded by: