On 23 May, 2007, the world was able to celebrate the beginning of the urban millennium. On that date, for the first time in history more of the world's population lived in a city than in a rural area: 3.3 billion people, on just three percent of the earth's surface. Metropolis – City Life in the Urban Age is the second part of a diptych which examines the consequence of this development, first for the countryside, and now for the city.
Urbanisation is nothing new, but never before has population growth in urban areas been as rapid as it has been in recent decades. It is a trend which, according to United Nations' demographers, will continue through the middle of this century. More than ever before the city has become the place where the culture and morality of mankind is being shaped – notions about life which, thanks to digitisation and globalisation, are being exported far beyond the cities themselves.
The modern city is also remarkable for its split personality. On one hand its growth is turbulent and aimless, on the other, cities are planned down to the tiniest detail. Ethnic groups and their cultures come together in cities, where they enrich one another's experience – and live in constant tension. In fast-growing economies the city has a magnetic attraction for people from rural areas, where they – successfully or not – seek a better life, while the West has seen what has been termed 'white flight' in the direction of suburbs spreading into the countryside. Cities are places that offer opportunities and take them away, that are a burden to the environment and relieve that pressure, where you are constantly under the eye of surveillance cameras, but at the same time can be totally anonymous.
METROPOLIS is a novel in six chapters and an epilogue. These tell the exciting, shocking, wonderful and overpowering story of City Life in the Urban Age.
Der Aa-kerk | Akerkhof 2
Oude Postkantoor | Munnekeholm 1
Noorderlicht Fotogalerie | Akerkhof 12
Open: Tuesday through Sunday 11.00 - 18.00
Admission: see visitor information
The exhibition is wheelchair friendly