Exhibition / Post-Oil City / Tokyo

Today more than half of the world’s population lives in cities. Facing climate change and finite supplies of fossil fuels, therefore, also means facing urban challenges. The exhibition “Post-Oil City: The History of the City’s Future” presents a host of innovative city planning projects in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The exhibition has been produced by the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, or ifa) and curated by the architecture journal ARCH+. The English-language version of the exhibition will open in Yokohama on September 27 and run through October 8. It will be part of the collateral events of the 24th World Congress of Architecture of the International Union of Architects in Tokyo.

The exhibition will be held at the Minatomirai subway station in Yokohama. Itself part of an urban development project, the busy station is a perfect embodiment of the exhibition’s subject matter. The exhibition is organized jointly with the Federal Chamber of German Architects and the Goethe Institute in Tokyo.

How does a city change when transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energies? What effects do renewable energies have on urban systems, sustainability, and mobility? These are some of the central questions addressed by “Post-Oil City.” Looking both to the past and to the future, the exhibition assembles eleven contemporary projects and nine historical references in the fields of sustainability, urban transit, and urban systems. One insight from “Post-Oil City” is that today’s ideas and achievements are built on modernism’s urban utopias. Increasingly, planners are rediscovering solutions to urban problems – public transportation, waste management, etc. – developed during the 20th century and adapting them as answers to climate change, limited fossil fuel supplies, economic recession, and global systemic crisis. Urban planning has now become a laboratory for social as well as ecological change.

Among other projects “Post-Oil City” presents SMAQ’s masterplan Xeritown (Dubai). Models of Masdar and Xeritown make city planning a 3-D experience. Although the projects vary in method and scope, they share a decisive element: the combination of imagination, innovation and intellectual flexibility we urgently need to make our cities and planet sustainable.

exhibitions, News
08/09/2011