Museum of London
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14 July 2017 – 2 January 2018


This major exhibition explored the key issues facing Londoners and city dwellers all around the world.

The City is Ours looked at the challenges that cities deal with and the solutions that communities are coming up with to combat them. It tackled affordable housing, effective urban planning, transport, air quality, green spaces, surveillance, smart city technology, diversity, activism and social cohesion.

Created by the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie in Paris, this free exhibition was one of the largest we’ve ever displayed. This was the museum’s first exhibition presented in both English and French.


We welcome 73,247 visitors to The City is Ours.


Exhibition created by:


Museum of London


New ways of seeing the city


The City is Ours welcomed visitors with: ever-changing displays showing the world’s growing population in real time; cut-away displays let you see beneath the city streets; a virtual reality experience that viewed Hong Kong’s future skyline from the roof of a 100-storey building.


Change the city for yourself


The City is Ours was filled with interactives to help visitors understand cities around the world. By playing, experimenting and choosing, visitors could get an intuitive understanding of the questions facing 21st century citizens.


  • What matters to you? These interactive screens asked you to rate what you thought was most important for city living, from green space to work opportunities to cultural diversity. You could compare your perfect city to the place you actually live- and see what other visitors wanted in their .
  • Who is watching you? Remote-controlled cameras dotted The City is Our, letting you spy on other visitors to the exhibition and think about how often you are watched in London.
  • What attracts people to cities? This pinball table modelled the way that big cities pull people in through jobs and opportunities- meaning a metropolis gets ever-bigger while smaller cities decline.
  • How does your city flow? This interactive map showed traffic flows and pollution levels, which changed as visitors played with the layout of the city. Moving workplaces, schools and housing, they could see how the efficiency of their city changed.
  • How do you see the city? We asked visitors to draw their mental map of the city on an outline of London, then scan it. As the exhibition went on, we build up hundreds of different visions of the city.

An interactive in The City is Ours.


“Urban populations have skyrocketed in recent years, from just over 30% in 1950 to a projected 70% by 2050. In London too, recent estimates predict that its population will grow to nearly 10 million by 2024. In this age of the city we’re asking: what does the future hold for these urban metropolises and how can we contribute to their sustainability and survival?”

Sharon Ament, Director, Museum of London

Museum of London



It’s here: the London initiatives


The City is Ours was adapted from a French exhibition, and we wanted to give it a distinctly London touch. So we partnered with 25 projects across London who are working to make the city a better place. These 25 initiatives are doing everything from redistributing food waste to installing solar panels, helping deaf Londoners navigate the city to building sustainable housing.


Engaging visitors, improving the city


Each of the 25 initiatives ran a lunchtime session in the museum, teaching visitors how they could make their own lives better. Visitors to The City is Ours could also add their own suggestions of groups improving London, creating an evolving map of new initiatives.


Repowering London: 20 July 2017

Guerrilla Gardening: 27 July 2017

Grow Up: 3 August 2017

FoodCycle: 10 August 2017

Living Streets: 17 August 2017

OrganicLea: 24 August 2017

Hanwell and Norwood Green Orchard Trail: 31 August 2017

GoodGym: 7 September 2017

Wrap Up London: 14 September 2017

Living Under One Sun: 21 September 2017

Copper Lane: 28 September 2017

Wayfindr: 12 October 2017

Citizen Sense ‘Dustbox’: 19 October 2017

London Cycling Campaign: 26 October 2017

Growing Communities: 2 November 2017

Thames Warren Footpath Lighting Project: 9 September 2017

Kingston Pound: 16 November 2017

Centre for Sustainable Fashion: 23 November 2017

CARAS: 30 November 2017

Safer London: 7 December 2017

Open Data Camden: 14 December 2017


25 ways to fix the city: meet the initiatives >