The city’s many faces 2

The old man of Lake Ülemiste near Tallinn knocks once every year on the city gates and asks whether Tallinn is finished. The fearful answer of the citizens is always a clear “no, no, there is much to do,” as the estonian legend says that the Ülemiste elder will flood the city once it is completed.

The legend wisely reflects on the fact that stagnancy, perfection, and completion are the death of every city. Most fundamentally: cities need to grow, change, and adapt.

Cities have to accomplish two hardly compatible tasks of accommodating an increasing amount of people and re-inventing themselves to avoid urban collapse. Although cities house a large number of people on a relatively small area, they have efficiently raised living conditions and served as hubs for innovation, cultural wealth and prosperity at the same time. Therefore the urban advocate Mark Pagel said rightly, “Cities are going to be the true gardens of the 21st century”.

At TEDxVienna City2.0 planners, architects, urbanists, dreamers, and doers will talk about their vision of City2.0 and share ideas about collaborative action and sustainable solutions.

The city’s many faces

In order to humanely accommodate an estimated 6 billion people by 2050 and to fulfill our environmental goals, cities cannot stand still, but must further break new ground.
A successful future city is dependent on many aspects including culture, education, safety, health, infrastructure, public space, etc. The list is long. But how can a city meet all these growing demands? How can it be a stable environment but yet unfinished and flexible? We invited outstanding speakers who will share with us their wishes, dreams, and thoughts of the city of tomorrow. Here are some of them.

Urbanism & Architecture

Stefan Gruber, professor at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and principal of STUDIOGRUBER, a Vienna based architecture and research office, works at the intersection between architectural design and urbanism. He won the Europan 11 with his project „Urban Magnetic Field“, an urban development strategy for the area around Graz’s stadium. Together with Ursula Achternkamp, he looked beyond the dichotomy of private and public in the part-farm, part-outdoor kitchen and part-public dining place “C’mon C’mmons”, which is a tremendously long dining table inviting city dwellers to cook, eat, share and experience together.


Ilkim Erdost’s idea of a city 2.0 includes the opportunity for as many people as possible to have access to education. As the principal of the Volkshochschule Ottakring, a center for adult education in the 16th viennese district, she implements community development and education projects to create a local framework that encourages adults to engage in learning years after leaving school.


Urban art

Art is not necessary always hidden in a museum. It can invade public space and become a vital part of every major city in addition to the classical architecture. Nicholas Platzer, an American street artist based in Vienna, opened back in 2006 the INOPERAbLE Gallery, an urban art gallery. With his business partner Nathalie Halgand, he continues to use INOPERAbLE as a mean to change the image of Vienna, one wall at a time. He will give us unique insight into the beginnings and current status of street art in Vienna and show us how contemporary urban culture like street art contributes to City2.0!



Increasing energy consumption and environmental pollutions are certainly big challenges for present and future cities. Ulfert Hoehne, a physicist and entrepreneur, is determined to tackle these problems. He is the co-founder and long term CEO of the Austrian green power utility Ökostrom AG, co-founder of three other start-ups, and a consultant in the field of renewable energy and sustainability. Recently, he has been working to establish Energy Change Agents, a programme to spur innovative Smart Energy Business Models.

Curious to hear what these speakers have to say? Come meet them in person at TEDxVienna City2.0 on the 20th of September at the Weltmuseum Wien, Neue Burg.


Header Image(s) from Pixabay & Gratisography

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About Lisa Landskron

Being a scientist in the field of molecular biology & leading the TEDxVienna Blogger team, Lisa loves to do biochemical as well as digital experiments to create and spread ideas.

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