Urban Lab - Democracy and Urban Society, Urban Thinkers Campus 2017, Town Hall N1, Municipal Hall
The Mannheim Manifesto of the Urban Thinkers Campus 2016 states: "People want to be a part of a city and not only live in it". This key insight is directly linked to the development and safeguarding of our democracy. Cities and communities in particular are sites of democracy. And people live in this democracy with different ideas, where meetings take place, different positions have to be negotiated and cultures, religions and social layers come together.
But how can a city foster democracy? It is clear that cities only function if urban society is committed, if it assumes responsibility and is ready to contribute to the common good in an oriented manner.
The success of democracy cannot therefore be measured by the extent to which self-interest prevails. Democracy cannot also be taken for granted. On the contrary, it must be learnt and experienced anew by each generation time and again.
But: whose responsibility is that? That of the parties, democratically legitimised bodies, the administration, citizens, urban society, companies, management? Or that of all members of urban society, i.e every single one of us - together?
The Urban Lab Democracy and Urban Society addresses these and other questions and also looks at the relationship between local democracy and sustainable co-existence in a global city.