Metropolis is an artistic platform for the development of the creative city. Københavns Internationale Teater is the organisation behind Metropolis, an initiative that exits the theatre and enters the city to create art, life and debate. The objective is to break the established notions of the art, and in particular the traditional image of the performing arts.

In the archive you can find more information on previous festivals and laboratories.

Metropolis as a concept
The concept of Metropolis has existed for 100 years and is currently more significant than ever. The identity of the city is avidly being discussed, and more than 50% of the world’s population now lives in cities.

Cities change and are identified as creative cities, hybrid-cities, event-cities and much more. Whenever public spaces are given focus we are obliged to examine phenomena such as time, place and identity. What can we do to prevent the city from turning into a characterless, transient adventure park?

Metropolis as artistic platform
Metropolis was a festival 2007-15, and since 2017 Metropolis is a summer season presenting performing arts based experiences in city streets – far from traditional street performances – but artistic adaptations of significant buildings, squares and roads. These experiences include the staging of everyday life, installations in urban space, artists working with local groups, art experiences in temporary mobile venues and excursions to the parameters of the city. Tales of city diversity are told, and all formats and media are tested. The city is the object, subject and frame, all at once.

Metropolis has formed connections with local/international, public/private institutions and businesses, just as a number of Danish and international artists, architects and city planners have all been invited to influence the development of Metropolis.

Metropolis Laboratory / Nordic Urban Lab
Metropolis takes an active role in initiating and producing projects. This takes place through Metropolis Laboratory, where artists, architects and city developers are provided broader scopes in which to collaborate in new constellations.

Metropolis Laboratory is 2014-18 organized in collaboration with Nordic partners under the title Nordic Urban Lab. It is used to develop projects with international artists via residencies and collaborations in the city. It is an international platform where artists, architects, city planners and theoreticians can meet the common challenge: how to create more living, fair, inspiring and cohesive cities.

The Lab intends to create dialogue between artistic and theoretical approaches to the use and planning of the city – and values creation of new constellations between art, theory and practice dealing with the city. It is a forum for sharing knowledge, collaboration and developing projects across disciplines, habits and prejudices – in a dialogue with the public.

The aim of the Laboratory is to investigate practices in the urban field, to introduce artists who will be engaged in the Metropolis programme in future editions, to create the basis of a network of artists/architects engaged in this field, and to explore concrete ideas for projects.



Changing Metropolis

Artists, architects, academics, etc., who participated in the Festival and Laboratory 2007-15, delve into topics raised through Metropolis. You find articles written by architects and city planners who work with cultural planning and temporariness; by artists who confront and expand possibilities and limitations in the city; by academics contextualizing urban artistic practices. You also find a variety of photos from Metropolis’ artistic encounters with Copenhagen.

Changing Metropolis I (2007-2008) – download here
Changing Metropolis II (2008-2011) – read here
Changing Metropolis III (2012-2015) – read here

LysLyd – i krydsfeltet mellem kunst, byudvikling og innovation – read here

Are you interested in buying a printed version of a Metropolis publication? Please send an email to

Metropolis is supported by The City of Copenhagen and The Danish arts Foundation