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The City is Ours: A Tale of Two Cities

14 July 2017

The City is Ours

Museum of London

14 July 2017 – 2 January 2018

FREE major exhibition at the heart of the City Now City Future season

City Now City Future is sponsored by DLA Piper and supported by Bloomberg

The City is Ours, the Museum of London’s major exhibition opening today, will explore the key issues that affect Londoners and city dwellers all around the world.

Tackling affordable housing, effective urban planning, transport, air quality, green spaces, surveillance, smart city technology, diversity, activism and social cohesion, the exhibition presents the challenges that cities are faced with and the solutions that communities are coming up with to combat them.

The ground-breaking, interactive exhibition, created by the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie in Paris, is spread across three of the museum’s temporary exhibition spaces. Examining the huge changes happening to cities across the world and how their inhabitants are adapting in response, the free exhibition will be the museum’s first to be presented in both English and French.

Sharon Ament, Director of the Museum of London, said:

“Urban populations have skyrocketed in recent years, from just over 30% in 1950 to a projected 70% by 2050. In London too, recent estimates predict that its population will grow to nearly 10 million by 2024. In this age of the city we’re asking: what does the future hold for these urban metropolises and how can we contribute to their sustainability and survival?”

Key exhibits include:

  • A nine-metre-wide film called Urban Earth that visualises data from major cities around the world to compare them on issues such as population size, public transport networks, CO2 emissions, green spaces, wealth, access to health care, and life expectancy.
  • An interactive table mapping 25 London-based initiatives which all aim to improve city life, from affordable housing solutions and charities promoting social cohesion to sustainable food schemes and new pollution-sensing technology.
  • An audio installation which translates mobile communications in Paris on New Year’s Eve 2014, the ‘Je Suis Charlie’ rally on 11 January 2015, and today into unique melodies.
  • An Oculus Rift headset which offers visitors a virtual view from the rooftop of a Hong Kong skyscraper, to illustrate the impact of building upwards rather than outwards.
  • A film about participative social housing in Chile led by architect Alejandro Aravena (winner of the 2016 Pritzker prize), a pioneering initiative to construct affordable basic housing units which families could develop, finish and customise themselves.
  • A film about maintaining Milan’s residential towers, Bosco Verticale, the first examples of a ‘vertical forest’ which were conceived to promote metropolitan reforestation.
  • A physical interactive which allows visitors to redesign a city of 500,000 people, moving the locations of business and residential districts to see the effects on traffic flow and CO2 emissions.
  • A film explaining how infrastructure and policies to facilitate cycling in Copenhagen are intrinsic to achieving the city’s plan to become carbon neutral by 2025.
  • A film highlighting San Francisco’s goal to recycle all waste by 2020 and the systems put in place to motivate and assist residents and businesses to recycle and compost.
  • An interactive exhibit which enables visitors to operate and monitor CCTV cameras within the exhibition space and to reflect on the implications of increased surveillance.
  • A film looking at how citizens are using mobile phones and social media to assemble en masse in public spaces, for pleasure or protest, from demonstrations in Tehran and Hong Kong to a worldwide flash mob in tribute to Michael Jackson.
  • A film with four individuals reflecting on their experiences of moving to Rio de Janeiro; Tomomi, a professor from Japan; Mike, a doctor in musicology from Australia; Ali, a street trader from Senegal; and Yajenka, a tourist guide from Uruguay.
  • A film about Medellín’s free cable car system which has connected outlying informal settlements to the centre and transformed one of the most dangerous cities in the world into a model for social cohesion.

The City is Ours opens on Friday 14 July 2017 and runs until 2 January 2018. This free, interactive, dual-language exhibition sits at the heart of City Now City Future, a year-long season at the Museum of London of over 100 events, exhibitions, displays and commissions that are exploring urban evolution in London and around the world.




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About The Museum of London

The Museum of London tells the ever-changing story of this great world city and its people, from 450,000 BC to the present day. Our galleries, exhibitions, displays and activities seek to inspire a passion for London and provide a sense of the vibrancy that makes the city such a unique place.

The museum is open daily 10am – 6pm and is FREE to all, and you can explore the Museum of London with collections online – home to 90,000 objects with more being added.

About City Now City Future

With more than half the world’s population now living in urban areas, the Museum of London’s City Now City Future season (May 2017 – April 2018) will examine the various challenges that an increasingly urbanised earth poses to the world and its inhabitants. At the heart of this year-long season of exhibitions, creative commissions, large-scale public events, talks and debates is The City is Ours, a dual-language exhibition from the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie in Paris which explores the ideas and innovations being developed by urban communities to improve how their cities work and people’s experience of living in them. The City Now City Future season is sponsored by DLA Piper and supported by Bloomberg.

About DLA Piper

DLA Piper is a global law firm located in more than 40 countries throughout Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, positioning it to help companies with their legal needs anywhere in the world. For further information about our organisation and services, please visit our website:

About Bloomberg

Bloomberg, the global business and financial information and news leader, gives influential decision makers a critical edge by connecting them to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas. The company’s strength – delivering data, news and analytics through innovative technology, quickly and accurately – is at the core of the Bloomberg Professional service. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his corporate, foundation and personal giving. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. For more information, please visit

About the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie

Located in Paris - La Villette, the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie is keen to ensure to make science accessible to all. Its fun and interactive approach aims to tackle science through discovery, questioning major challenges facing our world.