From Past to Future: Cities and Museums

Besides moving recently from one part of Stockholm to another, I have also visited some nice exhibitions. One exhibition in my old neighbourhood, and one in my new. Starting in the old, Millesgarden is a beautiful place in Stockholm (officially Lidingö), where the famous sculptor Carl Milles not only lived, but also worked. The garden is the museum’s centerpiece, in which not only many statues of the artist can be admired, but one is also treated on a beautiful view of a busy Stockholm, which lays far away on the other side of the water.

A relatively new building in the garden is used for changing exhibitions. At the moment the story of ‘Pompeii’ is being told, the Italian city that got buried under lava. This is done by using preserved art, furniture and other artifacts. It’s a tragic story of a city that had come to a high point in civilization, and lost everything in no-time. In many respects we would consider the people of Pompeii quite modern, even to today’s standards. It was possible for women to take part in business, they made use of contraceptives, performed abortions, and they even had small white stones along their streets that would reflect the moonlight, making it easier for people to find their way back home at night. I immediately started wondering if this was where Daan Rosengaarde’s idea for a Smart Highway came from.

In my new neighbourhood, Liljeholmen, I visited Färgfabriken. Together with them and Metropolitan Collective we are organising the ‘Holistic Urbanism Film Night’ next month. But I had never actually been there, which is a sin because they are involved in many cool projects related to urbanism. I took a look at ‘Connected, Future Cities and People’, which shows cases of citizen involvement in and smart city initiatives from all over Europe. 

In my old neighbourhood I saw the past, and in my new I saw the future. Both perspectives are important as they teach us about success and failure and challenges and opportunities. But most of all, exploring these nice museums made me forget all the boxes that I still needed to move.


Written by Sascha Benes. Follow him on Twitter, Linkedin and .