Focussing on the city

12 / 2016

Since November 2016, the third edition of the »Zukunftsalmanach« [future almanac] by the FuturZwei Foundation is available. In addition to the texts written by Saskia Hebert, the author of the chapters focussed on the topic of the city, La Loma developed numerous visualisations. Many of them were created in the city itself.


What does city refer to here?
Urbanisation in Germany


Since about nine years more than half of the human population is living in cities. And yet the term “city” is understood very differently throughout the world.
What does city refer to in Germany? After all, the majority of the Germans (77%) live in cities, which is much more than global urbanisation rate of 54%.
A closer look shows that most Germans (57%) live in cities with up to 300,000 inhabitants. In this case, city means a manageable size.
Nearly 20% of the inhabitants are living in the 21 largest cities in the country. Four of these cities exceed the million mark: Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne.
These 21 cities were represented by actors on a map of Germany.

Testing spot color, patterns and perspective


Projection of the map onto the patio of the studio



Masking the map



The 21 actors on their positions




Worldwide urbanisation
Forecast growth of megacities
2014 to 2030


Where will the cities grow, where are the population numbers stagnating?
The globe shows that especially cities in emerging nations and third world countries will experience enormous growth until the year 2030, while in industrialised countries there are few, sometimes even declining, population trends.


Locating 488 cities on the globe



City in motion
Population development in Berlin from 1994 to 2014


Cities cannot be seen as static structures, but in a constant flow: their inhabitants shape and change the city.
The graphic refers to this flow, visualising the example of Berlin: over a period of 20 years, as many people came to Berlin (arrival and births) as the current city size of Berlin in 2015 amounted to. Just as many people have left Berlin (move and death). Of course, not all Berliners arrived or moved away: almost 50% of the actual inhabitants are born here.
Even if the river, which is the basis of this graphic, is neither big nor rushing, the production was challenging. The water element has its own idea of movement – which La Loma, respectively the graphic have taken into account.

Preparing the knotted balls for the water



The floating graphics




Living space as a commodity
Income and housing cost development from 2009 to 2014


The information carrier for this graph is an entrance panel. However, in this case, the doorbells bear price tags instead of names, as the living space turns in to a (expensive) commodity.
The three columns show the development of the per capita income, the square meter price of a condominium and the square meter price per year for a rented apartment in the years 2009 and 2013/2014.
The comparison between Berlin and Bochum (in the area of the loudspeaker of the intercom system) shows two extremes of the development: in Berlin the costs for property and rented apartment increase skyrockedly, while the average income does not follow this trend. In Bochum, however, all three develop in parallel.
The pie charts on the bell buttons show the percentage growth rate.





Our city
What should not be missing


A jointly created dream city of FuturZwei and friends. From an lively discussion amongst the participants about the different ideas of their own city, this place of desire has emerged containing a combination of longing objects and photographs.



No country. Nowhere.
Sustainability and a high level of life security exclude themselves so far


The statement of this graph is sobering: no country reaches the ideal state of a “high human development” (x-axis; source: Human Development Report, 2010) and an ecological footprint (y-axis; source: Living Planet Report, 2012) which does not endanger the planetary boundaries. This vacuum is represented here as a hole, as a non-existent place, inaccessible.
It becomes clear that with the growing development of a country the ecological footprint becomes bigger and thus no country meets two necessary conditions for a good future: A good and resource-saving life.

Overview of all countries


Model and spot colors