In September, S.O.U.P - shaping our urban phuture is a new event format coming to Frankfurt that aims to explore the theme of the "city of the future" in a multifaceted way. The project, which is funded by the tourism levy, will celebrate its premiere directly in the city centre in the former Sportarena department store on Frankfurt's Hauptwache. From September 9 to 11, it will offer an all-society discourse with science, politics, architecture, subculture, culture and society, and cross-discipline ideas for Frankfurt and cities in general will be addressed.
Economic Affairs Director Markus Frank appreciates the project's character, which is in keeping with the spirit of the times, and its targeted focus on creating a new attraction for the metropolis on the Main: "With the new S.O.U.P event format, we are showcasing another facet of Frankfurt am Main that we can look forward to: Convention, Festival, Workshop, Discussion Forum, Performance, Art Installation. We were very happy to provide the impetus for this, because Frankfurt am Main is the perfect inspiration for makers, innovations, ideas and projects that will shape our city of the future. I would like to thank the initiators Nico Ubenauf and James Ardinast and their teams. The truly remarkable innovative commitment of our 'Local Heroes' holds a lot of potential for the development of this project, which we were allowed to support with funds from the tourism levy."
In the spirit of "City of the Future", the thematic areas of the event will encompass various topics - from urban life and coexistence to diversity, mobility, education and art. Questions will be addressed such as: Are stereotypes outdated? What do relationships look like in a digitized, urban world with endless options? Does the city make people depressed? International speakers are invited to address the questions of the day. With more than 500 participants on site, the festival format wants to be able to define one's own possibilities of influence in dialogue.
"The question of how we want to shape livable cities in the future encompasses almost all areas of public and private life," explains city councillor Ina Hartwig and continues: "Platforms like S.O.U.P. make an important contribution to this by bringing together experts from a wide range of disciplines with the wider urban community. As head of the cultural department of the city of Frankfurt, I am particularly concerned with how cities can remain culturally diverse and liveable for all. Public spaces as places of debate and cultural venues such as theatres, museums and clubs must be preserved in inner cities and protected from displacement. The city of the future is a common challenge that requires creativity, courage, solidarity and consideration."
The "Sportarena" venue in the heart of the city is the responsibility of promoter Tobias Sauerbier, Managing Director of Signa Real Estate: "Shaping our urban future - the future and active design of liveable city centres is particularly close to our hearts. Through our projects and department stores in the central locations of cities - whether at Opernplatz or on the Zeil in Frankfurt, at Gänsemarkt in Hamburg or at Alexanderplatz in Berlin - we at Signa also bear responsibility for their sustainable development. We are an active part of the transformation and the Urban Future. So it was no question for us to support a format like the S.O.U.P. Festival and its creators. We are looking forward to surprising and inspiring days in Frankfurt am Main."
Various inclusive formats
On 4400 square meters the festival format S.O.U.P. offers multiple forms of participation in discussions, workshops, lectures, panels, online live streams, entertainment, scavenger hunts, graphics, exhibitions to dance and culinary. The thoughtful event design encourages exciting exchanges on a variety of levels. While the main stage focuses on fundamental visions of the city of the future, two other stages make concrete references to Frankfurt and present pioneering projects with a worldwide exemplary character.
International speakers, well-known supporters
More than 30 international speakers from politics, urban planning, universities, communities and companies are participating in the premiere of the new event format. In addition to the City of Frankfurt's Department of Economics, the new project is supported by the German Architecture Museum, the Offenbach University of Design and Signa.
The S.O.U.P. - shaping our urban phuture festival will take place from September 9 to 11 at the Sportarena, Hauptwache 1. The program runs from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, 9:15 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. on Saturday.