Theme Superscape 2020

Mixed-Use City -  Living, Working and Urban Production

Like the earlier industrial revolution, it is now the digital revolution that is influencing social, economic and socio-cultural processes and, hence, making increased demands on the functionality and use of urban habitats. The barriers between public and private space, between living and working, between digital and analogue are steadily disappearing. The relentless merging of many of the aspects of the lives of the inhabitants and users of cities and the shifting of these to the digital level mean that the built environment can no longer be structured in a mono-functional way.

As we search for forward-looking, sustainable and people-oriented approaches to urban development the idea of “mixed use” has huge potential. In this context, urban production and its increasing importance as a significant element of the diversified city plays a prominent role.

The ever more intensive relationships between and mutual interconnectedness of knowledge, research, development, culture and services and the new manufacturing methods brought by digitalisation are also re-establishing the place and role of production in the city. The task for architecture is to test creative concepts, innovative models and solutions that propose visions of the future and experimental designs and address the spatial and social challenges of urban (living) space in the year 2050. This exercise raises many questions:

How can mixed-use solutions that combine urban production with living, working and public space function in both spatial and social terms? Which types and sectors of production come into question? And what added value will this generate for users?

What needs must be met by the residential building of the future against the background of changing living conditions, new everyday cultures and a permanently diversifying society (multi-local or temporary living, individualisation, the sharing economy etc.)?

Which design approaches enable the functions and qualities of a whole range of mixed-use options to be accommodated? What is the role of public space?

How can the existing city be involved in this process? Which solutions, products and services could prove to be ecological, economic, social, functional and also sustainable? How can these also address social diversity and varying needs?

How can new spatial and functional structures impact upon mobility behaviour, transport infrastructures, logistics, commerce and waste management as well as private and public resources?

What is the role of economic processes and innovative technologies? Which options and possibilities present themselves in the context of social and technical integration for architecture, urban design and living space and its inhabitants?

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