Future Cities


Over 70% of the global population will be living in urban areas by 2050. This project explores the next generation of cities: from the upcoming Silicon Valley of Latin America (Medellin) to the next African fashion city (Kinshasa).

  • €15,000 Budget in Euros
  • 2015 Final release date
  • 3 Round winner
  • 3 Locations
  • 15 Durations in months

More than half of the world’s population now live in cities, with the number of urban residents increasing by 200 thousands every day. Over 70% of the global population will be living in urban areas by 2050. Everyone knows that Rio de Janeiro, Shanghai and Mumbai are booming, but which cities will challenge them when it comes to creativity, economic growth, entrepreneurship and innovation? Where will it all happen in 2025 or 2040?

With this question in mind, the Dutch photographer Yvonne Brandwijk and journalist Stephanie Bakker travel to the next generation of cities. They explore cities behind the obvious: from the upcoming Silicon Valley of South America (Medellin, Colombia) to the next African fashion city (Kinshasa, Democratic Republic Congo). By constantly choosing a surprising angle, they give their audience a new impression of a place they did not know or had different perceptions of.

To achieve this, each city is connected to a subject/business in which in excels; fashion in Kinshasa, gastronomy in Lima, arts & cultural heritage in Yangon, technology in Medellin and music/jazz in Addis Abeba. Although the choice for a city is based on economical and demographical parameters, our search widerns its perspective to enter the personal worlds of those behind the statistics of growth and urbanisation. We take our readers to the heart of emerging cities, to the inside stories of the people who are leading the transition in tomorrow’s cities. To pioneers, visionaries and young talent who will determine their cities' futures. Into their lives and dreams as they seek inspiring solutions for urban challenges. And we will share their struggles – urbanisation has its downsides too. But above all we will capture the ambition, hope and prosperity of the world’s most exciting and emerging urban areas.

Future Cities publishes printed stories about each city, but as the project aims to pass on the inspiration, knowledge and energy from emerging cities, an interactive documentary will be the best way to tell this story. At different moments a new city will be launched as a separate chapter in a web documentary. It contains a mixture of words, pictures, video and audio.

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