Rezension von Bobby Langer – 17 x Hoffnung

„I cannot reword“

Before this unique, hopeful, and forward-thinking book project could become a reality, several years of planning were necessary. Additionally, thousands of euros had to be financed, which ultimately could only be achieved through a professional team and unwavering dedication to the cause.

What does this book achieve? It transforms the current state of cities and municipalities (as of 2022) into their own vision of the future. This is done through engaging narrative texts (diary, interview) as well as a realistic and large-scale depiction of their own future. That is why the subtitle of this book, published by the renowned oekom Verlag, is „A Journey into the World of Tomorrow“. For the reader, it becomes a combination of intellectual expansion and a busy picture book for adults – specifically for adults who care about sustainability and future viability.

The reader experiences the world of 2045 a total of 17 times, specifically the futures of Berlin (twice, once regarding renaturation and once regarding societal development), Bremerhaven, Düsseldorf, Emden, Frankfurt, Haan, Hamburg, Cologne, Ludwigsburg, Lüneburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Vienna, Leipzig, Wiesenburg, and Zurich. The task would have been comparatively simple for smaller, less complex cities. However, for conglomerates like Hamburg, Berlin, or Vienna, the research effort and graphic workload were immense. The editorial team collaborated with multiple 3D graphic agencies to handle the extensive conversion of current drone photos into photorealistic future scenes.

The development direction of the depicted communities was not left to the whims of the authors; rather, they followed goals that climate and environmental research has developed in recent years to address the ecological crisis. The narrated and illustrated visions are therefore not a linear continuation of the current state, but rather regenerative visions; because, as the authors state, „the damage to nature has become so great that ’sustainability‘ is no longer sufficient.“

The narrative does not move from the present to the future, but rather the opposite. The protagonist, „Editor Liliana Morgentau,“ takes a trip through Germany from May to June 2045 and learns from eyewitnesses how small and large cities completely reinvented themselves to achieve the EU milestone of climate neutrality – something that was not possible without societal upheavals. This led to new societal achievements such as the United Nations Future Parliament, where the concept of „biocracy,“ a future democracy of all beings, is being considered as the next stage of societal development. In the year 2045, money in Zurich has already been placed in the service of people. It is no wonder then that the Swiss major bank UBS, which currently dominates Paradeplatz, has been replaced by the Bank for the Common Good.

Towards the end of the book, a feeling arises that only rarely occurs: gratitude towards the author team. Gratitude for the comprehensive view of a livable – and achievable – future, but also gratitude for the inevitable hope that arises after reading.

By the way, „Zukunftsbilder 2045“ was chosen as the „Book of the Week“ in Friday’s edition.

Zukunftsbilder 2045. Eine Reise in die Welt von morgen. Von Stella Schaller, Lino Zeddies, Ute Scheub und Sebastian Vollmar, oekom Verlag, ISBN 978-3-96238-386-2, 33,00 Euro

Möchtest du eine Leseprobe? Dann schau gerne HIER vorbei.

On the book’s website, you can find numerous additional suggestions and links as reading the book marks the beginning of a piece of the future. The Toolbox section offers visitors a range of methods to develop their own utopias, as well as those of groups and organizations. Additionally, it provides tools to help envision a world full of potential and bring one’s utopia into reality.