Urbanization & Transition of Cities

With their (ecological) footprint cities have a huge effect on the entire ecology of the planet. Their scale creates new dynamics, new complexity and new simultaneity of events and processes – physical, social and economic. With this website I would like to contribute my ideas about complex adaptive urban systems, ecologic sustainable urbanisme and social, cultural and economic urban development. Today there’s still time to share knowledge and ideas. Tomorrow it’s time to act.

Background

Arie Voorburg, consultant and (guest) lecturer & researcher at several universities. Traveled and gained life experience as an officer in the (merchant) navy. Once ashore, he immersed himself in studies of system ecology (co-evolutionary  complex systems, quantum biology), biophysics and philosophy and became fascinated by the urban phenomenon; the city in all its facets. Active for 30 years in the fields of ecology, biodiversity, sustainable development and complex –urban- systems.
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As cities expand in a transnational economy driven by interrelated dynamics (social, economic, financial, formal and informal, cultural, etc.) and through a continuous exchange of materials, energy, knowledge and abilities, they reconstruct ecological systems. Their scale creates new dynamics, new complexity and new simultaneity of events and processes – physical, social and economic. They host intense and complex interactions between different demographic, social, political, economic and ecological processes.
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Lectures & Research

Bio-ecologic inspired design principles (Biomimicry and bioclimatic design), Evolving Economy (Biobased, Circular, Inclusive Economy), Talent development (education and 21st century skills), Disruptive Technologies and new finance models.
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Drive

Globalization 4.0 has only just begun, but we are already vastly underprepared for it. Clinging to an outdated mindset and tinkering with our existing processes and institutions will not do. Rather, we need to redesign them from the ground up, so that we can capitalize on the new opportunities that await us, while avoiding the kind of disruptions that we are witnessing today.
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Nearly 50 years after ….

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The Club of Rome concluded in Limits to Growth (1972) that if humanity kept pursuing economic growth without regard for environmental and social costs, global society would experience a sharp decline (i.e., collapse) in economic, social, and environmental conditions within the twenty-first century. The message was clear: continuous growth in industrial output cannot be sustained indefinitely. Effectively, humanity can either choose its own limit or at some point reach an imposed limit, at which time a decline in human welfare will have become unavoidable. An often missed, but key point is the plural of limits.  In an interconnected system like…

Shifting boundaries … a new Renaissance.

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Caught in the grip of ecological, social, political, and economic risks and conflicts, the world hovers between optimism and pessimism. The Renaissance, coming a thousand years after the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, reestablished science on a stronger basis than before, and technological advancement has continued on an accelerating path since then. The hallmark of the Renaissance was its holistic quality, as all fields of art, engineering, science, and culture shared the same exciting spirit and many of the same intellectual principles. However, as the centuries passed, the holism of the Renaissance gave way to specialization and intellectual…

I am hopeful

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The evolution of intelligent life on a planet requires not only that planetary conditions are conducive to life at the start, as it first evolves, but also that the planet remains habitable subsequently, without interruption. This is because there has to be enough time to allow life to increase in complexity from simple cells to more sophisticated single cells to multicellular life and eventually to intelligent life. On Earth this development took something like 3 or 4 billion years throughout which time liquid water appears to have been present somewhere on Earth’s surface, implying temperatures between its freezing and boiling…

Changing how the planet works

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The chemical and biological signatures of our species are everywhere. Transported around the globe by fierce atmospheric winds, relentless ocean currents, and the capacious cargo-holds of millions of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, nowhere on Earth is free from humanity's imprint. Pristine nature has permanently blinked out of existence. The idea that humanity has forced a geological transition is capturing people's attention not just because changes in epochs are rare. It is attracting notice because our species is gripped by the idea that we possess planetary powers. One million plant and animal species are now facing possible extinction due to a range of…