The Post-Fossil City: A Call to Arts

"Scientists want to make things especially specific, while designers are always working to make things concrete. This bringing of worlds together is very difficult." David Hamers introduced the complexity of the dialogue.

The workshop explored the need for fresh and provocative ideas about the future of the city. What will it mean to live, work, and move around in these post-fossil cities? How will our cities become not only postfossil but also pro-urbanity, in the broadest sense of the word: places that sustain natural, social, economic, and creative life? The premise of this session was that we need artists and designers to help us imagine the post-fossil city. We need images that spark our imagination, lead to collective action and depict the trade-offs that different urban futures contain.

Four of the 10 finalists of the Post-Fossil City Contest, were asked to present their ideas, and feedback was given in small groups with the aim to improve the entries and learn at the same time about the role of imagination in shaping the urban transformation.

The projects discussed were: the Symbolic City, Cow on Tour, People of Petrotopia, and City of Sounds and Silence. Breakout sessions gave room to discuss tangible, concrete ideas for the projects, while also building into more rich and broad discussions about the role of the imagination.

What is the imagined future? How can we overcome current challenges to reach this future?
A future is needed where there is a multiplicity of imagined possibilities. For this we need to include the arts and the creativity and imagination that comes with this transdisciplinarity.