Picture: Bas Bogaerts

IABR–2016–THE NEXT ECONOMY is a plea for an urban economy that focuses on social challenges; an economy that is driven by meaningful employment, the sustainable use of natural and human capital, and that leads to greater social inclusiveness. The results of the research carried out in five long term IABR–Ateliers, the ones in Rotterdam and Brussels focusing on the productive city and exploring how Western cities can once again become platforms of the new manufacturing industry, are mainstays of the exhibition

In the conviction that only collaboration in and between cities can realize the potential of the urban age, IABR–2016’s program once again highlights rapid urbanization, this time specifically on the African continent. Under the heading Africa; What’s Next? sixteen projects showcase the challenges, opportunities and possibilities of African cities in the Next Economy and demonstrate what we can learn from the mostly informal and small-scale initiatives.