Living Cities: the Next Urban Revolution


Green, teaching


February 6, 2016


Brain Bar Budapest



Living Cities Lab

Living Cities Lab was part of the Brain Bar Budapest 2016, aimed to discuss questions about “how to resolve the urban vs. rural challenge”. A speculative design lab about our possible futures – based on our present unsustainable practices, intended to unfold open discussion about the kind of future city that people want or do not want. Because we are living in times of transition, when every one of us is affected by the economic and environmental crisis. We experience first hand that our climate is changing, together with the economy and cultures. The challenge for the next few decades is understanding, evaluating and re-envisioning the systems by which cities operate in order to have the chance to create a sustainable future.


Architects, designers, sociologists and economists gathered to contemplate on the need to learn how to exploit the possibilities urbanization offers and how to respond to the magnitude of the change. Participants agreed how we respond now would determine whether we have a healthy, sustainable and prosperous future or one that is marked by inequalities, environmental decline and economic setbacks…


After a keynote speech by István Kenyeres, the president of BIOPOLUS Institute, the participants formed smaller work groups around the main topics mentioned; Replacing the traditional urban organs / Flows: food & water / Flows: energy & materials / Flows: people & information / Attitude. We used Speculative Design Methodology for brainstroming and shaping ideas about our preferable futures; to speculate about how things could be. The group work outcomes were presented to a panel and discussed together.


The workshop did not mean to provide solutions for such complex and ambiguous problems. But it did intend to address to some of them, to the issues that even we notice and experience already in our daily life by introducing a new way of thinking about the future of our cities. A Living City map, designed by group collaboration, was shared after the lab with the participants.


Host: Judit Boros

Organizers: Judit Boros, Sára Vargha, Orsolya Forster

Keynote: István Kenyeres

Panelists: Samu Szemerey, Anna Wessely, István Kenyeres

Facilitators: Bálint Ferenczi, Orsolya Forster, Kisanna Szabó, György Káli, Kamill Kószó