Open Cities

Shaping possibilities in Open Cities 

Cities are dynamic places where we work, socialize, exercise, and engage with a diverse range of people. They offer a canvas for us to envision and pursue our ideals for a perfect society, to dream and create our own utopias. However, the reality of peaceful cohabitation with neighbors from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds may not always match our imaginations. How much are the limitations of reality constraining our aspirations for a harmonious community?

The Open Cities flagship project is dedicated to creating more open and equal cities worldwide. To achieve this, the project aims to foster collaborative relationships between scholars, students, cultural practitioners, policy makers, and civic communities from various disciplines, professions, and nations. By promoting cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural exchanges of ideas and knowledge, Open Cities seeks to facilitate a more inclusive and diverse urban environment.

We often think of infrastructure leading to a faster, better, more inclusive city. However, we must ask ourselves: Development for whom?


  • Lives of Delta

    In 2023, universities in Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Maputo, and Utrecht will launch the first Lives of Deltas global exchange program. The program aims to investigate how taking an affirmative stance on pollution and pollination can help us understand the complex relationship between urban deltas and nature-human coexistence. By examining the challenges and opportunities presented by these ecosystems, the exchange hopes to shed light on ways to promote sustainable and mutually beneficial interactions between humans and the environment. Read more

  • Between Utopia and Reality

    Open Cities collaborated with UGlobe Café to examine the tension between utopian ideals and the reality of urban living. This investigation involved exploring how different cities worldwide have addressed such challenges and identifying the lessons that can be drawn from their experiences. Read more

Open City Network

This flagship project is part of the Open City Network. This network aims to facilitate and inspire interdisciplinary, inter-professional, and international collaborations between scholars, students, cultural practitioners, policy makers, and civic communities. Collaborators are invited to critically reflect on, and designing proposals for, how cities and their institutions transform in response to various local and global developments that bring about challenges as well as opportunities for institutional and societal change in the Global South and the Global North.

Meet our team: