There are so many different sides to cities for those who dwell in them. Architecture, public spaces, work, transportation, and culture. The daily lives of urbanites are defined by work, friends, love, sex, loneliness, pollution, music, dancing and more. We asked our contributors what life in the city means to them. In answering this question, our contributors took a heavily visually-oriented approach. Most contributors focused on the buildings and structures that, according to them, shape their city. Others wrote about urban projects and public art. Photography, it seems, is a perfect and indiscriminate way of capturing life in the city. Whether it’s the snapping of portraits on the streets of Paris and Berlin or the architecture on Instagram profiles, the photos hit home.
The city is also evolving into an increasingly important political actor. Mayors travel around the world to exchange expertise with their colleagues and learn from each other. New urban projects set innovative examples of how cities can deal with their energy grids, housing and transportation, while preserving their historical sites. A public space is not just a space - it’s a place where citizens (city-zens) come together and interact. Public art is a political statement.
Cities will be the epicentre of human life in the foreseeable future. By 2050, 70% of the world’s population is projected to live in a city. What does this mean for the world? What does it mean for the way we build, change and live in cities? From a societal perspective, cities such as Paris, Berlin, Rome, Vienna and Athens have played - and still play - an enormous role in our history and our future.
As cities change, so does living in them. What we show in this issue is anything but definitive. But it’s a snapshot of how this collective of committed young Europeans express what their city means to them. And in the end, that is what life in a (New) City is all about.