New Urban Topologies

Cultural exchange through Art and Urbanism

New Urban Topologies

– a short presentation


    Cultural exchange trough Art and Urbanism
    What cities do we wish for? How can we build and convert our cities and create a greater sense of participation among the citizens? In 2010 Färgfabriken initiated the program New Urban Topologies (NUT). The aim of this initiative is to create an open and free platform for an exchange of experience between different cities and different stakeholders; like governments and decision-makers, artists, architects, NGOs, activists, citizens, colleges and universities. The objective is to create informal meetings, and a democratic platform for urban development.

    No matter what city one lives in, the urban human wants to be able to move freely and easily, to have access to the necessary elements of life such as education, work, social care, security, entertainment, leisure, parks and public places. And a possibility to express yourself as an individual and as well interact with other people. The city is an opportunity. But does this opportunity include all citizens?

    An important perspective in NUT is to investigate the cities through lenses which focus on a holistic cultural perspective. NUT is a common learning process where Färgfabriken in close collaboration with local partners investigates and develops themes relevant for the city in question through alternative and site-specific perspectives. The NUT process has created several interesting spinoff projects as research programs, networks, exhibitions, publications, short documentaries and cultural organizations such as the ADA center in Mostar.

    The NUT project has so far identified and reflected over relevant topics which many cities in the world are struggling with as:

    • Socio/economic aspects of the city, inclusive communication between all stakeholders and about infusing art and architecture into the planning and communication process.

    • Lack of meetings between citizens’ communities, civil society and government. NUT provides communication methods between the people and the authorities. NUT therefore invites government agencies, civil society organizations, activists, artists, students and architects.

    • Strategies to promote local democracy and political participation; to give voice to those whose voices are otherwise not heard.

    • There is a need to take a holistic look at urban development by examining several subtopics as: The identity of the city, the use of public spaces, digitalization, pollution and traffic jams resulting from inappropriate public transport, hazardous waste treatment etc. All these issues and many more create complex patterns, which need to be highlighted in a cross- sectoral dialogue.

    topology pic

    Our cities will always transform and change. Many different stakeholders want their voices to be heard. NUT is therefore a project who will adapt and be an instrument with the objective to strengthen the contemporary discussion of how we are composing our societies in global rapidly changing world. A world with many different needs and cultural contexts.

    In the New Urban Topologies menu you can find reports, reflections and pictures from each city. It's also possible to download and read the two publications "The Chisinau and Minsk experience" and "Alexandria – City of Layers"

    New Urban Topologies is supported by the Swedish Institute, by the Swedish Institute in Alexandria and by Forum Syd.