Deutsche Bank – Responsibility

Urban Age – Shaping the future of our cities

More than half of the world’s population already lives in cities today and more than 70 percent will live in urban centers by 2050. How should cities of the future be designed to overcome the social, economic and ecological challenges of the future?

Urban Age Conference – International competence network

Rio de Janeiro | December 2013

Like no other city in the world right now, the six million citizens of Rio de Janeiro are feeling the transformational effect of two mega sporting events on their everyday city life - the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. The twelfth Urban Age Conference "City Transformations" was set in this context of change. © Marcos L. Rosa more

London | December 2012

In the 21st century, the digital age, not only cities but also their economies are changing. The phenomena of “the urban age” and the implications for social and ecological well-being are the focus of “The Electric City” conference in London. more

Hong Kong | November 2011

With nearly 16,000 inhabitants per square kilometer, Hong Kong is the most densely populated place in the world. How can the city assure the quality of life and health of its residents under such living circumstances? The “Cities, Health and Well-Being” conference in Hong Kong focuses on the risks of living in a confined space. more

Global Metro Summit in Chicago | 2010

The “Great Recession” in the United States, Europe and other parts of the world destroyed the lives and livelihoods of millions of people and caused havoc in global financial markets and crucial areas of the economy. The conference in Chicago formulates a strategy for city economies of the future and shows how urban regions can be governed with the help of intelligent, political measures. more

Istanbul | November 2009

From time immemorial, Istanbul has been a city that has bridged continents and cultures. How does Istanbul confront the challenges of a rapidly growing population? What solutions does Istanbul offer to endure natural disasters, earthquakes and floods? What are the consequences of rejuvenating individual city districts? more

São Paulo | December 2008

What are the consequences of structural change for South America’s largest cities? Growing energy use, pollution and uncontrolled population growth are analyzed and debated. more

Mumbai | November 2007

Four Indian megacities were the focus of the 2007 conference. To facilitate mutual learning, the conference analyzes and compares the peculiarities of Mumbai, Calcutta, Bangalore and Delhi. more

Halle | Mexico City | Berlin | Johannesburg | 2005

Rapid growth versus declining populations: While Mexico city and Johannesburg struggle with population growth and social inequality, cities in eastern Germany must respond to declining populations.

New York | Shanghai | London | 2005

Affordable housing in New York and the migration of rural workers to Shanghai: There are numerous social and economic challenges to overcome in megacities in the 21st century.

“Urban Age – The Future of Cities” is a series of conferences that Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society (AHS) launched in collaboration with the Cities Programme at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). The project seeks solutions to the challenges cities are facing in the 21st century. Urban Age analyzes the problems of megacities, bringing together mayors, architects, city planners, academics and NGOs to learn from each other.

International conferences have been taking place since 2005, for instance, in New York, Shanghai, London, Mexico City, Johannesburg, Berlin, Mumbai and São Paulo. Studies are conducted ahead of the conferences, and experts in the network exchange views and information with local experts to learn about the specific challenges confronting the conference city. Topics such as traffic, security, governability and sustainable economics as well as the use of public space define the discussions depending on their relevance for each city. The conferences have resulted in two anthologies “The Endless City” and “Living in the Endless City” as well as an extensive collection of data and other research materials.

Rio de Janeiro

Plano Popular Vila Autódromo © Olaf Jacobs


In 2013, Rio de Janeiro was the focus of the Deutsche Bank Urban Age Award. The winning projects, Plano Popular Vila Autódromo and Pontilhão Cultural, contribute to improving life in the Brazilian city by tackling the specific needs of their communities.


Learn more about the the 2013 Urban Age Award and its projects.

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Alfred Herrhausen Society

Alfred Herrhausen Society

The non-profit Alfred Herrhausen Society is the international forum of Deutsche Bank. It works with international partners and future decision-makers, including policy, academia and business, to organize forums for discussion worldwide. more