For cities that were built around one or two industries, the times when the industry leaves their market are challenging, if not disastrous. We’ve seen many cities around the world struggling to reshape their local economies and find a way out of recession.
To help post-industrial cities in this transition, we created the Urban Workshop and now we’re about to launch our first big project: #Konin2050, a post-industrial foresight.
What’s our goal?
There are two main goals for this project:
1. LOCAL: The coal mine, which helped Konin grow more than fourfold over two decades of mid-20th century, is expected to be shut down in around 20 years [prognosis in Polish]. First layoffs – almost 300 people – have already taken place. The goal of the project is therefore to start a discussion with local entrepreneurs, citizens and experts in various areas (environment, art, education, technology, etc.) about the direction we want the city to take and preparations we need to start already making.
2. GLOBAL: #Konin2050 campaign will be our first foresight done for a post-industrial city. The goal, however, is to create a model of foresight campaigns for other cities facing similar situation. Together we can start identifying tools and trends that can save post-industrial cities some unnecessary hardships and allow them to manage the transition in the most forward-looking and effective way.
How are we planning to go about it?
We are planning to keep the process as open and flexible as possible, which is why the framework you will read about in a moment is open for discussion and will surely evolve during with the process.
We want to divide the foresight campaign into two parts:
1. A set of scenarios.
We’re planning to start with a fishing expedition. We want to find people in Konin and beyond, who are Teslas of our times, leaders or outcasts in their communities, who know and do things that are way ahead of the curve and who could join us in imagining various visions of Konin once the coal mine is gone. Together with them, we’ll create a set of scenarios describing the city in the future. All of them will be visualized and shared online on a platform created for that purpose.
2. Public consultations
With the use of artistic interventions, in-class and online discussions, and other some more and some less obvious tools, we’ll scenarios we created with local communities and ask them about their opinions, let them play with the visions of their city and change them according to their will.
Outcomes will be threefold:
- a set of most popular scenarios for Konin in 2050, envisioning which way the people want their city to go;
- a list of time-bound recommendations for the local government;
- a model of post-industrial city foresight ready to be tested in other such cities anywhere in the world.
Now, we’re looking for partners!
We want this project to be as cross-sector and cross-disciplinary as possible.
We are looking for academic, civil society and corporate partners interested in testing the model with us and copying it in other corners of the world.
Would you like to test it also in your city? Have you already done something like that? Are you considering investing your time and resources in such project? Get in touch with us!