[PODCAST] What kind of city do we want?

A radio show about urban imaginaries.

Ja Ja Ja Nee Nee Nee – Online radio dedicated to the arts created a podcast during the opening weekend of IABR–2016, in which Arif Kornweitz talks to some of the biennale’s key actors and addresses central themes and challenges for cities in the Next Economy. The main narrative of the podcast is that we should not sleepwalk into the future but inform ourselves about the kind of city we want – from a social, productive and sustainable perspective – and act upon it.

Some highlights from the podcast:

“I take as my counterpoint the imaginaries of the smart city which suggests that we already know what the future will hold, namely the emergence of smart technology. But that is an industrial wish and not a foretelling. So the purpose of the Biennale is to develop alternative imaginaries in which we will produce productive, socially inclusive and green cities.” – Maarten Hajer, Chief Curator of IABR–2016

We cannot continue saying ‘the one who has most money drives urban development’. It’s not the short term profit of these companies that will solve our housing problem for the city.”
– Joachim Declerck, curator IABR–2016

Neoliberal capitalism influenced our imagination about what and who we value and what success and growth look like. Instead of competition, fast growth and individual excellence, we want to focus on slow change and collective excellence.
– Jeanne van Heeswijk of Freehouse and Afrikaanderwijk Cooperative

The notion of control is a fiction that makes planners feel better. I think your best shot is that the future begins today. You have to use a process of experimentation and scenario planning as your best tool to test out different imaginaries of what the implications of iterations of particular decisions might mean, good or bad.”
– Roger Sherman, GENSLER.

We look at food security related to urban growth, and how we can grow the productivity of rice in urban-rural settings so that land speculation can be resisted.”
– Stephen Cairns, Future Cities Laboratory (ETH Zurich) in Singapore.

If we continue to use resources and emit CO2 at the current rates, that growth is going to blow the fuses of the planet and we as a human species won’t have much of a future.
– Mark Swilling, Professor at the School for Public Leadership at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, and Co-director of the Centre for Complex Urban Systems in Transition


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Arif Kornweitz (right) interviewing Roger Sherman. Image: Hans Tak