Anastasia Sukhoroslova and Regina Schröter: Welcome to the Urban Ideation Lab as new Fellows! The All Things Urban team now gathers the world’s largest urban transformation community on their platform. What used to be urban planning is now a highly dynamic environment in which new professions and competencies are forming so quickly that there are no established terms for them yet – in the midst of and driving the movement: All Things Urban
It all started quite unspectacularly a few years ago with a search for jobs in urban development. This proved to be a surprisingly difficult affair. The team simply couldn’t find a platform that bundled open positions in their industry, or even showed positions beyond traditional urban professions. Since this portal didn’t exist, it was urgent to invent it.
The career and networking portal All Things Urban has been up and running since 2018. While the algorithms of established job platforms automatically pull job ads from the web, All Things Urban is curated by hand. The team checks ads, events and everything that comes onto their site before anything goes online there. Of course, they filter for quality. Jobs with good impact are welcome and the unpaid internship unfortunately has to stay outside. That’s not just more likeable, but essential in the face of urban transformation.
For a few years now, more than half of humanity has been living in cities. Against the backdrop of the climate crisis and its increasingly drastic consequences, our cities are currently in the midst of a “Clash of the Centuries. The 20th century does not yet want to surrender, but continue to drive cars, and the 21st century is wrestling with the forces of inertia. This is evident in Berlin, for example, in attempts to rededicate at least one stretch of street. The car-free Friedrichstrasse resulted in a highly emotional public tussle. Other cities are already further ahead, such as Barcelona with its “superblocks” or Paris as a “city of short distances.
At these breaking points of the old and the new, entirely new urban skills are also emerging. Traditional professions such as urban planning and architecture are being expanded to include a wide range of skills; inevitable in view of the new socio-economic, ecological and political challenges. Professions are emerging for which there are still no proper designations at all, or projects whose description is still often ambiguous. Students and graduates often do not know what exactly to look for on their way into urban careers.
In the midst of this transformation, and long a buzzing part of it, is All Things Urban. “Because we curate our content manually, we automatically get to see what’s evolving,” says Anastasia. “We discover trends and new role relationships, sharpen our sense of urban movement and reflect that in the community. And with our digital infrastructure, we help employers reach qualified, international talent on the one hand, and provide our community with guidance, inspiration and a place to find like-minded people on the other.”
Today, All Things Urban has established itself as the world’s largest community-based career platform for “urban professionals”. This is where expats from all countries network, who are now conquering cities as laboratories for future challenges, and where completely new perspectives are emerging. Here, too, there is friction with the traditional corporate culture and its working models. German companies in particular often label themselves as modern, but they still like to cling to old hierarchies and often find it difficult to overcome their skepticism about remote and new work. The conflict can be simplified as static versus dynamic and, of course, a bit as old versus young.
The team demonstrates that not only architects can work in urban transformation, but that this requires a wide range of expertise. Founder and CEO Anastasia is a PR consultant and communications strategist in the fields of architecture, culture and sustainability, and Regina Schröter, CPO & Head of Community, is a design strategist and mobility expert.
“Ultimately, it’s about making our cities more livable, more energy-efficient, more circular, more sustainable, and simply smarter,” says Regina. “That’s no longer possible with urban planning à la last century. The urban mentality is changing in all areas, for example urban mining instead of new concrete construction, mobility hubs and modular living instead of cars on the doorstep, and much more. With All Things Urban, we want to lead this change and show people ways to actively shape it.”