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Project ‘Narratives of Hope: Applied Science in the culture’ gives a floor to experts from different scientific and cultural fields. The leitmotiv of all topics, irrespectively from their thematic or performing diversity, is clearly set: Sustainable futures. In the closing, rep-up segment of these events, a microphone (for Q&A) always goes to young generation. For all

the others in audience that is an opportunity to listen and get inspired – by words (or performances) of experts. It is a novel journey by content and style through the challenging and engaging topics facing the forthcoming generations.


Narratives of Hope: The urban phenomenon - future of a perennial story

First (experimental) thematic evening under the auspices of the Project ‘Narratives of Hope:

Applied Science in the culture’, Vienna, 27.09.2019.


In times of great change, there is one resource that will become decisive for social systems to evolve: hope. Building on this thesis, urban researcher Ian Banerjee take the audience on a journey across the world. He talk about his experiences of the last 20 years in South America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.


Beyond the technical and political aspects of the city, he explores the intangible dimensions of the urban phenomenon. Why have places like Athens, Florence, Vienna or Silicon Valley experienced great cultural or economic blossoming at certain times? Is there something like a secret formula for the success of cities?

Unfortunately, the success of the city has a dramatic flip side. Its effects are destroying large parts of life on the planet and threatening to destroy the foundations of human civilization. How is the international community responding to the situation? How have innovative cities responded to major crises so far? What are the new narratives of hope in the 12,000-year-old story of the city?

Ian Banerjee

Ian Banerjee is a urban researcher at the Vienna University of Technology. Together with a team at the TU Wien, he is currently investigating the effects and potentials of automated transport system for European cities in an interdisciplinary project funded by the Daimler and Benz Foundation (AVENUE21).

He has been involved with international urban development and urban innovation for 20

years. After childhood in Asia, Africa and Europe, he studied architecture and urban design at

the Vienna University of Technology. He wrote his thesis on the transformation of the city of

Curitiba (Brazil) - which received much international recognition for its creative planning

approaches. He worked for five years at the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF and

German satellite TV 3Sat as a consultant for the production of documentary films on urban

innovations. During this time he undertook research trips to many parts of the world to

understand the global challenges for urban infrastructures. In 2008 he became assistant

professor at the Department of Sociology at the Vienna University of Technology. Since then

he held various positions there, including three years as a consultant in a consortium

responsible for the design of the National Spatial Strategy for the Sultanate of Oman. Since

2010 he has been researching the emergence of new educational spaces and learning cultures

in the urban context ("educational urbanism") as well as the importance of new socio-digital

formations such as "digital communities" and "digital social innovation".

His new interest lies in exploring the analytical and creative potentials of critical storytelling.

In February 2019, he co-founded the storytelling platform Topographies of Change.

Lawrence Gimeno

With his vison and passionate engagement (ACSL – Founder:, Lawrence

Gimeno builds up one authentic urban story, too about the sustainable city: Vienna as the

university city. This evening he jumps into a new, but important role: he re/presents a voice

of a young generation with its fundamental question – city in its quest for a sustainable future.

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