The Ultimate Event Guide for the FrankfurtRhineMain Metropolitan Region


29.03.2023 | 10:24 Clock | Business

From May 11, solutions will be sought in Frankfurt at S-O-U-P, one of the largest national festivals for urban future issues. It is about sustainable and livable urban development. In the open format, people from a wide variety of communities come together democratically, educate themselves further, rethink city life to co-design and celebrate it.

In many cities, urban planning and urban development are deficient. Cities are unattractive because they were designed at a time when automobile traffic was the highest priority. Other places do not function socially, are either extinct or become the scene of social aggression. They do not meet the needs of their current inhabitants. One of the origins of this problem is the lack of interaction between the groups that make the city. Scientists, urban planners, politicians, entrepreneurs and experts from the administration are too rarely linked with the users of the city: residents, subcultures, creative milieus.

Barely prepared for leaps in development

Another deficit is that urban societies are often surprised by megatrends or epochal events. They are not resilient to change, he said. A local example is the ruinous impact of the pandemic on Frankfurt's Bahnhofsviertel, where crime and drug disease became neighborhood defining. Artificial intelligence is also making rapid progress in many areas of life. More than just an educational revolution is to be expected here. At the same time, locomotion is becoming driverless, electrified and accelerated at top speed. Are cities prepared for such leaps in technological development? In addition, there are other questions: How can we manage the balancing act between high-quality construction and affordable housing? How can public spaces become more inclusive? With which technologies do the traffic and energy turnaround succeed?

Low-threshold and unique: Urban Future Festival S-O-U-P connects

The Urban Future Festival S-O-U-P wants to be a platform for interdisciplinary exchange, information and networking. Together, approaches to solutions for urban future issues are to be developed. Under the motto Connecting Urban Minds, around 1,500 participants will come together over three days. In over 30 diverse panel discussions, lectures and workshops, city dwellers will meet specialists and representatives from business, politics, science and culture. Scene representatives, neighborhood faces and volunteers discuss contemporary issues with investors and decision-makers.

"Cities are not made in trade magazines, ivory towers or executive suites. If the neighborhoods and inner cities of tomorrow are to function in a livable manner, we need open, barrier-free, democratic discourses. Because there it is clarified, which is necessary in the future and can be load-carrying , justifies curator Jonathan Speier the concept of S-O-U-P.

The discussion and topic meetings of the festival are embedded into a cultural, musical, culinary and hedonistischen master program: from the opening event up to the conclusion party. In this way, hurdles are avoided and issues relevant to the future are brought down to street level. In cooperation with Filmfest Frankfurt International, the carefully selected program "S-O-U-P Cinema" will be shown free of charge. The Making Frankfurt and EZB Basketball groups will make open-gym and street-ball offerings. The Berlin club Chess & Jazz combines jazz music with a chess tournament. International artist:s perform live.

Successful format expanded and continued

From 11 to 13. May 2023 S-O-U-P takes place now for the second time, after the successful prelude 2021. In the Palais Frankfurt at the large Eschenheimer road 10 approximately 50 lecturers and discussion participant:inside on three stages will appear. The cultural program will also take place on May 13 at the Hauptwache. The event is made possible by its three founders. Frankfurt restaurateur James Ardinast is founder and CEO of IMA Clique and co-founder of Urban Tribes; he has played a key role in influencing the scene in the Bahnhofsviertel. Publicist, urbanist and co-founder of Urban Tribes Jonathan Speier is also on the organizing team, as is entrepreneur Nico Ubenauf. Ubenauf is a board member of satis&fy AG and co-initiator of #AlarmStageRed, the grassroots movement for the event and cultural industries in the pandemic. S-O-U-P is supported by the City of Frankfurt, and the festival is under the patronage of Dr. Philipp Nimmermann, Hesse's Secretary of State for Economic Affairs.

Public transport: opportunities of future technologies

At S-O-U-P, specific technological developments and their consequences will be discussed. Hyperloop - a kind of pneumatic tube for humans - will take us from Munich to Berlin at top speed. Self-driving cars will be autonomous capsules in which we work, relax or sleep. What does that mean for city streets and parking lots? How realistic is it to integrate these technologies into our everyday mobility? When will it start happening? Mars Geuze is co-founder and COO of Hardt Hyperloop. He joins other panelists to reflect on the social and economic implications of new medium- and long-haul transportation options and how they can become sustainable, inclusive public transportation.

Revolution Artificial Intelligence: benefits and risks

ChatGPT and the like are taking over the world. Software is writing essays for students and changing our professions. But when do we anticipate the potentially devastating consequences of superhuman superintelligence? How can it be used for social and urban modeling of new neighborhoods and metropolitan areas? As in other industries, synthetic forms of intelligence are gaining influence on planning processes in architecture. Renowned architect and New York author Matthias Hollwich will present his hopeful vision of an ideal city planned in collaboration between humans and artificial intelligence. Lectures and discussions at S-O-U-P address principles of how Artificial Intelligence is given the right foundations to design more livable cities.

From Yesterday: Men's Matter City

Cities have historically been shaped by men. Public space has been defined by them. Unsafe parks and underground car parks, gloomy underpasses, lack of public toilets and baby changing facilities reduce the quality of life for women. Lea Lewitan outlines successful international approaches to solving how city considers each and everyone. Lewitan is co-founder of Urban Femina, an interdisciplinary collective that seeks to bring feminist thinking to architecture.

Bahnhofsviertel at the Crossroads: Salvation or Demise

Frankfurt's Bahnhofsviertel stood for diversity, local entrepreneurship and a mobility hub. In the pandemic, the neighborhood has slipped into a disastrous state. Is there hope for the potential of this central location? What is the situation really like? James Ardinast and Max Coga - Coga is the third-generation operator of the Queen of Spades nightclub - join others to discuss what it will take to get the neighborhood back on a positive development track.

Program and tickets

At S-O-U-P, more than 1,500 participants are expected again. Tickets are offered reduced for 9.00 euros and regular for 29.00 euros. For many interested, the entrance is even free (info see website).


11. To 13. May 2023
Thursday: 12:00-22:00, Friday: 10:00-22:00, Saturday: 10:00-04:00


PALAIS Frankfurt and Hauptwache, Große Eschenheimer Str. 10, 60313 Frankfurt

On 11 May 2023 at 12:00 starts the festival. On May 13, 2013 at 22:00 it closes with a Closing Party. For the comprehensive program, international speakers:inside and all times see:

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