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 Clinging to an outdated mindset and tinkering with our existing processes and institutions will not do.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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Choosing a sustainable path will require transformative change, underpinned by levels of ambition, coordination, and political will.

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We are part of nature, not separate from it. We rely on nature to provide us with food, water and shelter; regulate our climate and disease; maintain nutrient cycles and oxygen production; and provide us with spiritual fulfilment and opportunities for recreation and recuperation, which can enhance our health and well-being. We also use the planet as a sink for our waste products, such as carbon dioxide, plastics and other forms of waste, including pollution. Since 1900, the human population has more than quadrupled and per-capita income has increased at least fivefold. Global average life expectancy at birth has more…

There is increased awareness that situational complexity is now the norm rather than the exception.

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Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future. John F. Kennedy, Address in the Assembly Hall at the Paulskirche in Frankfurt June 25, 1963 It is hard to get by in the world as we know it today. It is complex and full of surprises. Dealing with forthcoming challenges requires acknowledging the complexity of policymaking, and the fact that the issues that policymaking tries to address have become too complex to successfully guide through linear policymaking processes. Our current liberal political system was shaped during…

MORE CONCERNING THEN EVER ….

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In addition to my writings on climate change, biophysical limits, depletion of raw materials, massive extinction of species, etc., there is a major issue that is happening right under our nose: socio-economic disparities weaken the resilience of our cities. Stretching the boundaries of my knowledge on economics and social science I dare to state that resilience can only remain useful as a concept and as progressive practice, if social dimensions are taken into account. Social-economic exclusion, disparities, inequality etc and the resulting poverty, are complex problems that manifests themselves in many different areas of life, are multidimensional and can encompass…

DISRUPTION IS UPON US, AND THERE IS NO ESCAPING IT.

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Leadership can navigate the complexities of geopolitics, the challenges of biophysical boundaries and opportunities to make sense of what is often an opaque and dynamic world. INFINITE THINKING IN A FINITE WORLD At the start of the industrial revolution the world was deemed a larder full to the brim of wonderful resources to be consumed. Fossil fuels such as coal/ oil and gas were perceived to be limitless, becoming the dominant form of energy used by societies that viewed nature as a resource to be utilized for progress. We inherited a 3.8-billion-year store of natural capital, but at present rates…