The City is Ours: Step into the smart cities & vertical forests of the future

By Oliver Smith 14 July 2017
The City is Ours. Image: David Parry/PA Wire

The most Memo exhibition you'll ever see.

Your city, wherever you live in the world, is fraught with difficulties.

Overpopulation, environmental chaos, transportation woes and food shortages, the list is only growing.

But as the challenges have risen, so to have the entrepreneurs in our cities with colourful, creative solutions to tackle them.

Solutions like Pavegen, which turns the power of footsteps into actual power, Wayfindr, which is guiding the visually impaired around London’s underground, and architect Stefano Boeri’s vision of skyscrapers covered by ‘vertical forests’ to clean our air.

All these marvellous ideas and more are on show at the Museum of London, as part of its new exhibition The City is Ours which is now open.

It’s maybe the most Memo exhibition we’ve ever seen.

Get hands on and redesign your own city. Photo: David Parry/PA Wire.

Unlock your city

The City is Ours revels in presenting both the challenges and potential solutions for our cities today, and far into the future.

“The exhibition doesn’t give firm answers,” Foteini Aravani, the digital curator of the Museum of London, told The Memo, “because no one knows what will happen in the future.”

“We want to poke people to reflect on all the issues we’re highlighting, maybe they’ll decide to get involved in making our cities more sustainable and better places to live.”

Spread across three vast galleries with dozens of exhibits, prepare to be inspired.

Photo: David Parry/PA Wire.

Touch and feel the future

One exhibit lets you redesign a city of 500,000 people, moving business and residential districts around to see how these impact traffic and pollution as you try and craft the ‘perfect’ city.

Another uses virtual reality to place you on top of a Hong Kong skyscraper, to show how building upwards rather than outwards has transformed the landscape.

Or you are invited to ‘feel’ how our digital lives now flow through cities with an installation which translates the bustling mobile communications of Paris on New Year’s Eve into melodies and vibrations beneath your feet.

The City is Ours climaxes with a vast digital screen highlighting 25 innovative London initiatives to improve the lives of local people in the capital, and invites visitors to either get involved or add their own local projects.

What will you start?

The City is Ours is free at The Museum of London and runs until 2 January 2018.