Cities are emerging as the most critical and debated phenomenon of the twenty first century. From having an insignificant impact over the global economy in early parts of last century, they have taken center stage by becoming the principle engines of not only human aspirations but also economic growth. For the first time in human history, over half of the world will live in them in the next few decades.

How we will plan or retrofit cities is far more critical than is accepted publically or exhibited in our actions thus far.
In pursuit of their economic potential we fail to recognize that cities can be crucibles of social, economic as well as environmental disasters if their evolution is not well thought out. Unless cities are treated like corporate business and made accountable to the people from their first cost to their lifecycle costs, they have the potential to become huge cash and environmental drain while being social dividers. Every successful company invests large funds in research, market analysis, customer behavior and preferences, design and innovation. Then why does this not extend to the business of creating, building and maintaining cities? Why are the real stakeholders, the people, not allowed to participate in creation of these? There is an urgent need to create cities by understanding the pace of societal change so that cities can become vehicles for greater integration of people and ideas.

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During the 10 year history of Normann Copenhagen, we have learned that passion for design and architecture is strongly connected to people and not places. Coming from a part of the world where DESIGN is almost part of your DNA and every household has a selection of Design Classics, does not guarantee that passion is found.   When coming to Belgrade for the BDW 2009 we found a dedication and passion at the highest level. We can only be jealous that such events, created with passion and real interest to push the viewers and visitors to the next level are not more commonly found in Denmark. That again is a tribute to the great efforts found behind BDW and we hope to be part of your events in the years to come.