Future of Cities

Event date: 4 September 2013 - 7 September 2013

Venue: International Building Exhibition Hamburg (IBA)
City: Hamburg
Country: Germany
Organisers: World Future Council & partners
Website/further information: Future of Cities


Description: The annual Future of Cities Forum brings together 150 mayors, city planners, scientists and representatives of civil society and the private sector to discuss key challenges for future urban development. This year’s Forum takes place in Hamburg, Germany and is the third in a series on regenerative cities organised by the World Future Council.

Why do we need the Future of Cities Forum?

By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Decisions made today by local authorities and national governments are critical in shaping the future we would like to see. These decisions must enforce policies that ensure decent livelihoods for all with more equity and social justice as well as policies that deal with already unavoidable climatic change and potential resource scarcity.

Our vision is not to merely look at the status quo and make incremental improvements but rather to consider the systemic changes we need to make now in order to ensure sustained human life on earth.

A wide range of technical and management solutions are already available. Policy makers need to know about the numerous successful policy instruments and good examples that already exist around the world. By facilitating dialogue cities and regions can learn from each other’s invaluable experiences. The guiding principle of the Future of Cities Forum is therefore to point out strategies that prove successful in creating regenerative cities. By sharing lessons learnt from model cities around the world we want to encourage their widespread adoption.

Regenerative urban development

A new model of urbanisation, powered by renewable energy and defined by a restorative and mutually beneficial relationship between cities and their hinterland, is urgently needed. Cities must go beyond sustainability to truly regenerative development: not only becoming resource-efficient and low carbon emitting, but positively enhancing rather than undermining the ecosystems on which they depend. Regenerative cities mimic nature’s circular metabolism and operate in a closed-loop system that transforms waste outputs into inputs of value.


The Forum takes place on 4-7 September, 2013 and brings together a wide range of stakeholders to examine the broad range of existing ideas, policies and best practice examples for transforming cities into regenerative systems. Case studies, technical solutions and concrete implementation solutions are, therefore, the focus of the workshops. The Forum aims to be interactive in order to trigger dialogue and shared learning among participants.

Discussions will focus on strategies and recommendations to develop and implement a cross-sectoral approach that balances the necessary ecological requirements with economic needs. The central question of how to operationalise the vision of Regenerative Cities will be tackled by applying it to the sectors of energy, water, waste, transportation, buildings and construction as well as urban green and agriculture. Case studies will highlight enabling governance structures, communication strategies as well as innovative technologies to move from vision to implementation.