• Urban Age Debates

    A global investigation of cities in the 2020s

What are Urban Age Debates?

The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally challenged the nature of cities. The closure of borders and businesses and social distancing are having an impact in almost all cities worldwide and are threatening urban life as we know it. A reassessment of issues such as density, urban economy, mobility, governance and sustainability could be the result. Urban Age is now taking up these issues with the "Urban Age Debates", a series of five virtual events between January and October 2021 – a global investigation of urban futures after 2020.

Why Urban Age Debates?

Today, metropolises around the world are facing the challenges of a triple crisis - the corona pandemic, new demands for social justice, and the global climate crisis. In the urban context, too, the corona pandemic is acting as a catalyst for digitization and sustainability in particular. Issues such as working from home or shopping behavior, but also changing mobility, are having an impact on the social fabric of the urban population. The expert panels of the Urban Age Debates provide impulses for thinking and acting for a future of cities which benefits its inhabitants.

How do Urban Age Debates work?

The Urban Age Debates draw on interviews with key urban leaders, new data on urban dynamics (terralytics), and results from several surveys of urban stakeholders. Each event focuses on key challenges for cities in a post-COVID-19 world. Participants in the debates include Richard Florida, Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy at the University of Toronto; Ayesha Khanna, Co-Founder and CEO of ADDO AI; entrepreneur and board member Janina Kugel; Edward Glaeser, Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard University; award-winning designer Thomas Heatherwick; and other pioneering architects and planners. The debates will be accompanied by experienced commentators such as Camilla Cavendish, Contributing Editor at the Financial Times and Isabell Dedring, ARUP. Surveys will be conducted as input and output of the Urban Age Debates and trailers and films will be produced based on the data. More information on these formats can be found here.

Updates, more details, and information on how to participate can be found on our social media or on this website under activities.

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

Media Library

  • „Urban Age Debate 4 – Changing Culture” - Trailer

  • Post-debate Film | Localising Transport | Urban Age Debates: Cities in the 2020s

  • Urban Age Debate 2 – Humanising the City Trailer

  • Urban Age Debate 2 – Humanising the City Panel discussion

  • Urban Age Debate 1 – Socialising Remote: Short film

  • Urban Age Debate 1 – Socialising Remote Work: Panel discussion

  • Urban Age Debate 1 – Prof. Richard Florida interviewed by Ricky Burdett

  • “Socialising Remote Work” Panel at ZEIT für Arbeit