From October 13 to 15, Utopian Hours will return to Lavazza’s headquarters, La Centrale della Nuvola, in Turin, Italy, designed by Cino Zucchi Architetti. It will host three days of events that bring together urbanists from around the world. This marks the seventh edition of the festival and promises to be the most expanded version of the gathering, presented by Stratosferica. The goal is to stimulate conversation that results in unconventional solutions to pressing urban matters.
With the theme of Manifesto for a New City Making, Utopian Hours will welcome keynote speakers Scott Kratz, who will discuss the 11th Street Bridge project in Washington, D.C.; Eugenia Kargbo, Africa’s first Chief Heat Officer; Peter Van Wingerden, of Floating Farm, from The Netherlands; and Patrice Gillespie Smith, who will present Miami’s Underline.
Additionally, a panel discussion of leading mayors will focus on C40, a global network of mayors of the world’s leading cities that are united in action to confront the climate crisis, and cover the group’s Reinventing Cities initiative. AN’s executive editor Jack Murphy will moderate this exchange.
Beyond the 13 main panels, Utopian Hours will host a rich program of roundtables, networking events, and city-debate platform. This year, the guest city is Verona and will be discussed in a dedicated roundtable and panel. Utopian Hours will also include the second edition of the Urbanites’ Fair and present Corso Farini, a new placemaking project by Stratosferica. Corso Farini reinvigorates a public space next to the Einaudi University Campus and was carried out in collaboration with City of Turin’s Department of Green Public Space with support from Cities4Forests.
Last year’s Utopian Hours gathered over 60 guest speakers from 20 countries and more than 60 Italian delegates from 30 cities across the country. The upcoming festival thematically builds on the prior trio of conferences: The City At Stake (2020) The 1000-minute City (2021), and A World of 8 Billion Cities (2022). A Manifesto for New City Making utilizes three new terms: undensity, or the adoption successful urban planning strategies used in densely populated areas to revitalize suburban and rural area; egomobility, or the building new mobility systems in cities for individuals based on the values used in public transport: sustainability, capacity, and accessibility; and polyspaces, or the forging new and healthy relationships between the ownership, multiuse, and multifunction of places for positive change.
“The evolution of humankind and cities are now inextricably linked,” Luca Ballarini founder and creative director of Stratosferica and co-director of Utopian Hours, told AN. “Cities are not just human artifacts we need to nurture. They are arguably the most crucial product of human consciousness and agency. Utopian Hours is the ideal place and time where great minds come together to push the boundaries of our thinking and perception, to evolve and look at our evolution with courage, responsibility, and a collective thrust towards the future.”
Full program details are available here.
Tickets are available here. In addition to day pass and full festival pass options, there is a streaming pass available for those interested who won’t be able to attend in person. A professional pass is new this year; it offers access to all events, including private roundtables, lounges, and networking events.
Earlier this year, Stratosferica partnered with The Architect’s Newspaper to host Critically Yours, a discussion held at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia during the vernissage of the Venice Architecture Biennale. Participants included Oliver Wainwright of The Guardian; Inga Saffron of the Philadelphia Inquirer; Davide Tommaso Ferrando of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano; Mohamed Elshahed of Cairobserver; and Erandi de Silva of Loké Journal.
AN is a media partner for Utopian Hours.