Workshop | Social Cities of Tomorrow

Social Cities of Tomorrow

Our everyday lives are increasingly shaped by digital media technologies, from smart cards and intelligent GPS systems to social media and smartphones. How can we use digital media technologies to make our cities more social, rather than just more hi-tech?

Workshop ‘Designing Social Cities of Tomorrow’

The workshop took place 14 – 16 February 2012 at ARCAM.

The results were presented at a public event on Thursday 16 February, 20:00.
Location: Mediamatic Bank, Vijzelstraat 68, Amsterdam.

Aims of the workshop

During this three-day workshop prior to the conference, participants from various professional and national backgrounds collaborate with local stakeholder organisations to address real-world urban issues 1. These organisations are a local government (Amsterdam municipality, economic affairs), a housing corporation (Trudo Eindhoven), a cultural institute (Stroom Den Haag), and an office for architecture and urbanism (Temp.architecture Amsterdam). See full case descriptions here. Stakeholder organisations commission a complex issue that they face and would like to see explored by a heterogeneous group of creative people. These issues are situated in an urban context and involve multiple stakeholders who may neither agree on an advance solution nor on the formulation of the actual problem itself.

Because the issues are complex, heterogeneous teams are formed to tap into the greatest diversity of knowledge and experience. The workshop programme is structured as an iterative process in which the original question is revisited at specific points. A number of external experts will assist the teams. The workshop ideally should result in a prototype for an ‘intervention’ (a product, a service and/or an approach) that addresses the issues brought up by the stakeholder. To optimize time, participants receive a briefing about the problems in advance. Outcomes of the workshop in turn inform the overarching conference question: how can we use digital media technologies and collaborative principles of online culture to address collective urban issues?

Read the detailed #socialcities workshop briefing that the teams received (pdf, e-mail addresses, case descriptions and other data removed).

Organising team
The workshop Designing Social Cities of Tomorrow is organised by The Mobile CityOlga Paraskevopoulou and ARCAM, in partnership with Mediamatic and Waag Society.
The workshop is made possible by a generous contribution from the Pauwhof Fonds and Stichting DOEN. For more information see

1 We draw inspiration from approaches like Virtueel Platform HOT100, Kennisland SocialSafari, and TReC Play the City.