2021 Edition

The City in 2100

This theme invited us to rethink our lifestyles and our urban spaces. What will the sustainable and pleasant city of tomorrow look like? What links to territories and rural spaces? Participants were invited to produce a story that would provide a credible and original vision of cities in 2100.

The jury paid attention to the story, the quality of the plot, and the formal implementation; but also and above al to the realistic nature of the background, the city in which people live.

Jury members

Anne F. Garréta

Anne F. Garréta is a writer and professor of literature at Duke University (USA) and Rennes 2 (France). She has published seven novels, including Pas un jour, which was awarded the Prix Médicis in 2002. She is a member of OuLiPo, and a jury member of the Prix Médicis.

Antoine Buéno

Antoine Buéno is a writer and advisor to the French Senate in charge of monitoring the work of the Sustainable Development Commission and the Foresight Delegation. He is also a specialist in utopia and science fiction, which he taught at Sciences Po. He is the author of anticipation novels and essays on subjects as varied as the sociology of smurfs, the virtues of non-voting, and birth control. His latest book, Futur, notre avenir de A à Z (Flammarion), has been presented in the media as the essential book on foresight.

Benoît Peeters

Benoît Peeters was born in 1956. He has published more than 50 books, translated in various languages. Essayist, biographer of comics author Hergé, as well as of Jacques Derrida and Paul Valéry, he is also the scriptwriter of the famous comic book series Les Cités obscures (Casterman) in collaboration with François Schuiten.

Célia Blauel

Célia Blauel has been Deputy Mayor of Paris since 2014. After a mandate in charge of the Ecological Transition, Climate and Water, Célia Blauel has been in charge of the Seine, Foresight Paris 2030 and Resilience since the June 2020 municipal elections.

Image of © Joséphine Brueder / Ville de Paris
Cristian Jimenez

Cristián Jiménez was born in Valdivia (Chile) in 1975. Before becoming a filmmaker he wrote short stories and studied sociology and philosophy in Santiago, Heidelberg and London. His films have been part of the official selection of festivals like Cannes, San Sebastián, Sundance and Toronto, among others. He has also directed music videos for artists like Mika and Indochine. He is Head of the Audiovisual Creation Department at Universidad Austral (Chile).

Erik F. Øverland

Erik F. Øverland is the President of The World Futures Studies Federation, WFSF and the Co-Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of the European Journal of Futures Research, EJFR. He holds a part time position as a guest researcher at the Freie Universität Berlin and is a senior policy advisor to the Norwegian Minister of Education and Research. He has represented Norway as official delegate to several working groups and committees in the EU and the Council of Europe. He has also conducted futures studies for agencies and business enterprises both in Norway and abroad. Dr. Øverland has published several books and scientific articles about futures studies, such as CARPE FUTURUM. How to manage the future (Cappelen Publishing, 2010).

Marie-Christine Lemardeley

Marie Christine Lemardeley is Deputy Mayor of Paris, in charge of Higher education, Research and Student life, since her election to the Paris Council in 2014 and in 2020. She is an emeritus professor of American literature, specialising in John Steinbeck. She was also President of the Sorbonne-Nouvelle - Paris 3 University between 2008 and 2014. She is a Knight of the Légion d'honneur, Knight of the Ordre des Palmes académiques and Officier of the French National Order of Merit.

Image of © Joséphine Brueder / Ville de Paris
Sophie Tran

Sophie Tran is Deputy Director of the Cinema Unit at ARTE France. A graduate of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences de l'Information et de la Communication (CELSA), she previously worked at France Télévisions, where she was programme advisor for cinema and deputy director of programme acquisitions for cinema and foreign fiction.

Laureates

En attendant Cléo GRAND PRIZE Short novel/Scenario

Author
CASES Anne-Laure
Description

The short story En attendant Cléo takes us to the day of May 21, 2105, in a Paris emptied of its cars, its pollution, its incessant noise. It's very hot, but it's good to live there. Vertical farms, high-altitude forests on top of buildings, artificial lakes to collect wastewater, all live with new technologies, drones and high-speed transportation. As the hours go by, we follow Auguste, we discover his daily life. Auguste is waiting for Cléo. Will she join him or will she prefer to escape to new horizons?

En attendant Cléo, whose title is reminiscent of Beckett's Godot, is a universal story about love and waiting, and makes us reflect on what makes happiness... which is not always to be found elsewhere.

The writing style in "En attendant Cléo" is very fresh and very direct. We don’t really have a lot of information about this relationship, just that it is a man waiting and clearly longing to meet with this woman. But what I find really interesting is the fact that maybe the world, the city, the planet that the story is depicting, is very different from what we live today, but despite all these changes we care a lot about what is happening there. Even if it’s not very dramatic, we really identify with this man. And it shows us that somehow, no matter how much things can change, and everyday life can be different, there is still something that is going to connect us with the people who will live in this new world in the future.  Cristian Jiménez
The text presents us with a future world, but it does not describe it in a way too heavy or too detailed. It makes us feel it, touch it, guess it through the actions of the characters, especially the main character. And the second quality is to have introduced a form of melancholy within this positive and happy future. To have said that even if the world changes, even if the social and political intentions change, even if the great climatic or other difficulties that we face today are overcome, human feelings will not change that much. And that the expectation of love, fear, a form of nostalgia or melancholy will always be there. And I think that's what gives this story its value, it really takes us into a future that we believe in, because it remains a human future, a future where not everything is rosy. Because we know that, whatever innovations we may introduce, the worst utopia would be that of obligatory happiness for all. For that would be the extinction of those feelings, those dreams, those fantasies, which make the value of our lives.  Benoît Peeters
En attendant Cléo" is a simple but yet very touching story. It is about a man who is waiting for the woman he loves. It is not a new story, we have heard this story before, but it makes it very eternal and universal, and that is very touching for everybody I guess. The story also depicts a positive future, which is set in Paris in 2105. And what makes it positive is that though we have seemed to have adapted to climate change thanks to new technologies and thanks to various social upheavals, and though we also have an possibility to migrate, to flee, to explore a new land, there is a possibility also in the story that we might actually like to stay. And in the end it is a story that talks about what should be changed in the future but also what will stay the same for us in the future as a humanity, as a mankind.  Sophie Tran
Vivaldi 2100 Organizers favorite Comics/Graphic novel

© Camille Larminay & Orane Le Saout
Authors
LE SAOUT Orane, LARMINAY Camille
Description

In 2100, in order to fight against the rarefaction of resources and the dramatic consequences of climate change, cities, which have become hubs of innovation, have created exchange programs compatible with the drastic limitation of international transport in order to promote the circulation of knowledge and to engage the inhabitants more deeply in the process of climate resilience.

We follow Ren, a resident of Shenzen who has just arrived in Lyon, and who maintains a correspondence with Achille, a native of Lyon who has himself moved to Shenzen.

As the story unfolds, we discover Ren's daily life and her involvement as a citizen in a Lyon whose climate is equivalent to that of Algiers today, and we learn about new city services, new societal and even ethical advances dedicated to social cohesion and the well-being of all.

Vivaldi 2100 shows an exchange between two researchers, a Chinese researcher and a researcher from Lyon. It depicts in a fairly realistic and very well-documented way how major climate changes could be managed at local level, and the differences that could exist between a very technological way of life, and a way of life that is more sustainable and based on the local economy, and above all on changes in local politics and local democracy. I thought it was very well done and quite realistic and it gave me food for thought about what it would be like to live with very low carbon emissions, that is to say, by sticking to the targets we have set ourselves. It's interesting, it's not going to be easy. It's feasible, it's nice, and it means a lot of changes in daily life, in local management and politics, compared to what we do now.  Saadi Lahlou
Vivaldi 2100 takes us through four seasons in the city of Lyon, which is very green and in which collective mutual aid has made it possible to adapt to climate change. The comic also shows the interdependence of the world's populations and how cities, taking over from the States, collaborate and share their experiences. This nice work caught our attention because it offers a realistic and credible vision of a future in which everything is not rosy, but in which the efforts and responsibility of all allow for a better life, more sober, but also more united. We particularly appreciated the fact that this work is based on foresight work and is the product of a collective effort.  Jean-Eric Aubert
After Utopia Comics/Graphic novel

© KM Kuhn & Sophie Z. SHAO
Authors
KUHN KM, SHAO Sophie Z.
Description

This comic depicts a future city called the Agropolis. The story follows the history of the Old Quarry farm and the lives of some of its community members, exploring how transportation, labour rights, social care, etc., work in this “post-utopian” society.

The story is narrated by a long-horned bee who also lives at the Old Quarry. This solitary bees embody what it means to be a 'good ancestor'; its brief life is spent caring for future generations.

When I read After utopia, some things struck my mind. The first is the concept of “post-utopia”. The first time I read this piece, which contains a lot of fantastic drawings, I was a bit uncertain if I liked the term. Then I read it again, and I must say I really enjoyed it. Because the term “post-utopia” is a critique of what I assume are the kind of non-reflective or naïve utopians, who want to save the world and do the good things, the best things they can imagine, but the result isn’t always very promising. And therefore the author created the term “post utopianism” and I like this way of doing things. And the narrator, the subject in the story, the bee, is interesting. Because it is a symbol of a very interesting environmental challenge of our time.  Erik Overland
The first thing we noticed was the charm of the drawings, the quality of the colouring, which gives a very nuanced atmosphere, very contrasted, far from the chromos. And the second thing that struck us and seduced us was the theme. To approach the story from the point of view of a bee. This is a very positive sign in itself, because it means that in this future world, in a few decades, bees, of which we know how important they are and how threatened they are, are still there. And this bee, who has just been born and who knows that its life will be short, tells us in its own way the story of a world of tomorrow which is a world after the utopias. For a very long time, we believed that utopias were a really positive thing, that utopia meant dreaming of tomorrow. But what this history shows us is that utopia can be suffocating, overwhelming, and that perhaps the world we are experiencing today, and whose ravages and social, economic and ecological damage we are seeing, was guided by a utopia. For example, that of productivism. And the success of tomorrow's world is perhaps to free ourselves from this obligation to utopia, from this somewhat totalizing, even totalitarian obligation to utopia, to simply try to restore things. And this bee presents itself as a "future ancestor", which in itself is a very nice word  Benoît Peeters
Canopée Short novel/Scenario

Author
BUIGUES Jean-Robert
Description

Canopée is the story of an unusual job interview between the city recruiter Cléa and the candidate Léo, a pretext for the reader to discover the futuristic Paris of 2100. Everything has changed there: people use horse-drawn carriages, hoverboards and boats, water has replaced most of the roads, working conditions are respectful of employees, and flora and fauna now flourish in the "Great Forest", which adjoins the capital and whose objective is to eventually extend so far that it will merge with the German forest.

At the end of this day, while we leave Leo convinced to leave his job in Agen for Paris, we join Clea's bittersweet reality, made more bearable by innovations in artificial intelligence.

We are shown a Paris that has become a sort of small Venice, in which the Champs Elysées have become a river. And it makes you want to walk there, to be projected into this futuristic Paris.  Antoine Buéno
Le Troisième Oeil Short novel/Scenario

Author
BRUNEL Catherine
Description

The story takes place in a district of Paris that has been transformed by major disasters during the 21st century. It shows how society is organized around desirable and sustainable housing projects. The plot revolves around the integration of new residents, the Huangs, into a community residence in which services between people harmoniously structure daily life. The arrival of these new residents, survivors of the collapse of their building in Mongolia, which they were able to leave thanks to the Migration and Solidarity Program, disrupts the well-oiled organization of a "model" neighborhood in terms of social cohesion and environmental quality.

But why do we never meet Quinn, the Huangs' child? What lessons can be learned from solving the enigma?

From one end of the story to the other, you feel that something is missing and is hidden from you, and that holds your attention. In other words, there is a narrative tension. That's what you look for in a short story  Antoine Buéno
Papillon perdu Short novel/Scenario

Author
PERLMUTTER Franck
Description

In Papillon perdu, we follow the day of Naomi, a scientist very committed to the harmonious cohabitation of humans and other species. A seemingly ordinary day, from the morning wake-up call to the classic scrolling of the hours of a working day where Naomi meets Jame, a mischievous collaborator who keeps her a big surprise, which will be revealed to the reader at the end of the story.

Without going as far as pure science fiction, this short story is rich in a myriad of small details of a futuristic daily life where artificial intelligence and new technologies are present at every moment, and where progress and innovations seem to have stopped damaging the environment, making possible a return of lost biodiversity.

In this story it's the ending that interested me, it's a bit of a surprise for the reader. This is a quality that one likes to find in a short story.  Antoine Buéno
This was definitely one of the best stories I had to read. Because for many years now we have been looking for transition stories, but most of the time it’s kind of technocratic, showing us a world. And this story shows us first a character, someone we really want to know. You want to know what is going to happen to this woman, and to follow her. So for once the character is the main object, but at the same time it gives us all the landscape of transition, talking about climate change and all the implications it has and will have on our lives. That was interesting as you’re living directly in the world because you believe in the character. Then another thing that I really liked is that it was asking a lot of questions. Because in this future which is the setting the woman is in, one has the positive aspects but also the complex ones, like the issue of artificial intelligence, which you feel is a way to a better future, but which also raises a lot of interrogations about the way we are going to live. And in the end I loved the idea that, in addition to the climate issue, we have a strong focus on biodiversity, which is not so much addressed right now, but it’s a big issue we have to consider. So character, background of transition, biodiversity and complex questions, are all the elements that I really liked in that story. And obviously it is taking us into a really positive vision of the future, and I really hope that we will live in that future all together.  Celia Blauel
The Reconciliation of Knoll Short novel/Scenario

Author
MERKLE Julien
Description

This short story explores, through the eyes of four characters, a vision of the 22nd century where societal innovation takes centre stage. While clean energy, urban farming technology and efficient public transport are important as the backdrop of the city, its most important aspects are the social institutions that have taken root.

Based around decentralized governance and communally owned infrastructure, the city’s bottom-up institutions are oriented around empowering citizens to improve local conditions, while fostering a strong sense of interpersonal trust in the process. The resulting network of participatory grassroots allows us to envision the city as an evolving ecosystem.

What I have seen in this short story are some really interesting reflections not necessarily on a future debate on the role of technology in social development and the role of social innovations, but it’s also a kind of a critique of a “techno-optimistic” approach, present among a lot of people today.  Erik Overland

This theme invited us to rethink our lifestyles and our urban spaces. What will the sustainable and pleasant city of tomorrow look like? What links to territories and rural spaces? Participants were invited to produce a story that would provide a credible and original vision of cities in 2100.

The jury paid attention to the story, the quality of the plot, and the formal implementation; but also and above al to the realistic nature of the background, the city in which people live.

Watch the award ceremony