The program writers and producers of New Metropolis create programs and projects in seven different domains: Social, Spatial Planning, Sustainability, Technology, Economy, Democracy and Creative Industry. We focus on practical issues, improving every day life in cities and regions and how it relates to life in the Netherlands, Europe and the rest of the world. On the other hand we try to highlight how global developments affect our urban region and country. It is our mission to showcase developments in every domain, to develop clear analyses, interpret existing practices, offer alternatives, present innovations and to stimulate dialogue.

SOCIAL

Amsterdam (with 180 nationalities, almost 900.000 inhabitants and millions of visitors every year) and other major Dutch cities are changing rapidly as a result of urbanization, and the relationship with the immediate surrounding area and the rest of the country is changing with it. Partly due to ongoing migration and digitalization there is an increase in superdiversity, widening the gap of inequality even more for job opportunities, education, health, income and housing. How do we involve everyone in discovering new ways of living together? And how do we create a city that is inclusive, fair and a place that all its residents and visitors can call home?

In the Social domain we create programs surrounding all major social themes like inequality of opportunity in education, the future of work, poverty and debt, unequal life expectancy rates, human rights, discrimination and racism.

SPACE

The Netherlands has a long history of spatial planning and thoughtful design of public spaces. This isn’t considered a choice in such a small and densely populated country where all its inhabitants need space for living, working, travelling, playing sports, leisure and recreation. How do we divide the space that is becoming increasingly scarce? How do we create designs for multiple use of space that are smart, meaningful and innovative, in which the ecological footprint is as small as possible, all the while preserving optimal quality of life and biodiversity? Where can we and where can we not build? Where do we make space for nature, sustainable energy, water, ecological connections, new bicycle paths, pedestrians, motorways and railways?

In the Space domain we create programs within the areas of project development, architecture, building, planning and gentrification.

SUSTAINABILITY

If we want to do right by the next generations, we have to leave them a viable, fair and just world. The current crises surrounding climate, natural resources and biodiversity show that we need to work even harder on this than we are already are. Where are the flaws in the current social systems? How do design a new economy that guarantees a sustainable future? And how do we find ways of translating our long-term ambitions into realistic plans and remove barriers at the system level?

In the Sustainability domain we create programs about the circular economy, energy transition, climate adaptation, food, biodiversity and sustainable mobility. In doing so we are creating a strong connection between the residents of the city and innovation, design power and a fair and just transition at a national and global level.

TECHNOLOGY

The government uses artificial intelligence to their advantage, robots are now producing what humans did before, our phones record and register everything and social media platforms are determining what is fact and what is fiction. Our society is digitalizing rapidly, and although that comes with many new opportunities and possibilities, it also creates new and unforeseen obstacles, privacy issues and undesirable power shifts. What risks do new developments pose and which safe and fair alternative perspectives can we offer? How do we handle a digital world that is open and accessible to everyone but still protects the privacy of all of its inhabitants?

In the Technology domain we create programs about new apps, Artificial Intelligence, data usage by governments and corporations, algorithms, blockchain, e-economy and digital (civil) rights.

ECONOMY

Decades of economic growth have led to an increase in wealth gaps in our cities and society. All around the world significant disruptions have taken place due to climate change, increased migration and digitalization. The COVID-19 pandemic is currently adding to that by causing severe economic damage worldwide and disrupting our health care system. Which economic models are out-of-date and where should we look for alternatives? How do we build a resilient and sustainable economy that allows for communities and cities to thrive without growth being its main objective? How can we ensure that the economy contributes to a world where everyone has equal opportunities?

In the Economy domain, we create programs about the welfare economy, the containment of large capital, the tax system, pension funds and ways of building a circular economy. By doing this we explore how we can make new economic systems work for us in a positive way.

DEMOCRACY

Traditional democratic systems like political parties and elections are under pressure due to increasing distrust in the administrative and financial systems. Citizens are also claiming more ownership and responsibility for solving social issues by doing so locally through the use of citizens’ initiatives and neighborhood cooperatives. Where are the opportunities for citizen participation and what are the common pitfalls? How do we strengthen existing institutions and our trust in them? And which new (local) democratic models are there?

In the Democracy domain we create programs about the democratic revival as a concept, alternative democratic models and citizens’ initiatives. We share experiences on a local and international level and focus explicitly on knowledge exchange.

CREATIVE INDUSTRY

All urban and social projects are design issues by definition, in which there is an increasing emphasis on a ‘human-centered’ and sustainable design perspective. How do we design cities where everyone – including future generations – can feel at home? What role can designers and artists play in (re)considering and (re)designing our ways of producing and consuming? How can the creative industry expose the shortcomings of current systems? And how can innovative design offer solutions?

In the Creative Industry domain we create programs about photography, industrial design, fashion, architecture and all other forms of art and design. We use the power of storytelling to connect the past, present and future and offer a platform to inspiring designers, artists and initiatives.

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