The Transformative Power of Cities: Conference Documentation
Berlin, 29 June 2017
It will be decided in cities whether the transformation towards sustainability succeeds worldwide or not. Urban areas are playing a decisive role in this ‘century of the cities’: cities and their populations are thus drivers of global environmental change, while at the same time being affected by it. The progress of the transformation towards sustainability will depend substantially on the decisions that will be taken in cities over the next few years and decades. We need a paradigm shift away from incremental approaches that are essentially driven by short-term requirements, towards transformative changes with a strategic, long-term view of humanity’s natural life-support systems and the creation of a form of urbanity that promotes human quality of life.
Starting from a global perspective and a multi-sectoral (systemic) and transdisciplinary approach on urbanization, the conference gave special focus to two main issues for future urban development: the role of real-estate markets within the global financial system, and the influence of the increasing digitization of cities and urban living environments.
All presentations and panels are available as video.
Sabine Schlacke, Chair, WBGU, University of Münster
Keynote: Global Urbanisation and the Transformation towards Sustainability
Dirk Messner, Chair, WBGU, German Development Institute - DIE
Keynote: Germany’s Responsibility for Sustainable Global Urbanisation
Barbara Hendricks, Federal Minister for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Federal Republic of Germany
Thematic session 1: Do Real Estate Markets Lead to Unjust Cities?
Saskia Sassen, Columbia University
Stephan Bone-Winkel, Beos AG, University of Regensburg
Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur for Housing and Human Rights - video message
Joseph Schechla, HIC-Housing and Land Rights Network
Moderator: Karen Pittel, WBGU, Ifo Center for Energy, Climate and Exhaustible Resources
Cities as Complex, Self-organizing Systems
Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, WBGU, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Thematic session 2: Digital Cities - Potential or Risk for Sustainable Development?
Carlo Ratti, Carlo Ratti Associati, SENSEable City Lab, MIT
Shivani Chaudhry, Housing and Land Rights Network (Habitat International Coalition - South Asia)
Moderator: Ina Schieferdecker, WBGU, Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS
Sabine Schlacke, Chair, WBGU
Location: silent green Kulturquartier, Gerichtstraße 35, 13347 Berlin, Germany
Concept: Gesa Schöneberg, Benno Pilardeaux
Technical support: Viola Märtin, Mario Rinn, Martina Schneider-Kremer