Public lecture by Dirk E. Hebel in Zürich at the “Future Cities Laboratory Exhibition and Symposium” on September 25, 2014. Cities are cultural centres and drivers of local and global economies. However, in their present form they are not sustainable in either ecological or social and economic terms. Rapid population growth, increased mobility and climate change has led to urban sprawl, air and water pollution and even social conflict. Against this backdrop, ETH Zurich was invited by Singapore’s national research fund in 2010 to launch a five-year research project in Asia. The result is the Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) at the Singapore-ETH Centre (SEC). Now, an exhibition and symposium at the ETH main building presents the most important works from the research project. The 13 research modules present methods and results of interdisciplinary research at the intersection of architecture, urban development and planning, construction, material science, computer science and social sciences.