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.


Arie Voorburg (25 February 1956), working as a 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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Urban System Engineering

Guided by these important cross-cutting issues I developed an integrated and evolving framework for resilient –urban- development (Socio Ecologic Urbanism and Urban System Engineering). A methodological and thoughtful fundamental understanding of the challenges, decision and governance process cities are facing the coming decades. To achieve inspiring and beckoning future prospects for socio ecologic and economic development and revitalization, innovative business and finance models have to be developed.
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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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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 Clinging to an outdated mindset and tinkering with our existing processes and institutions will not do.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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We zijn allemaal geïnteresseerd in de toekomst, want dat is waar we onze tijd gaan doorbrengen.

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De natuur bevindt zich in vrije val en de ondersteuningssystemen van de planeet zijn zo uitgerekt dat we te maken hebben met grootschalige uitsterving van soorten en massale menselijke migratie, tenzij er dringend actie wordt ondernomen. Het is een grimmig perspectief. We hebben de afgelopen jaren een hoop brute en angstaanjagende waarschuwingen gezien over de bedreiging die de klimaatverandering in het leven met zich meebrengt. Veel minder gesproken, maar net zo gevaarlijk, zo niet meer, is de snelle achteruitgang van de natuurlijke wereld als samenhangend geheel. Landdegradatie, verlies van biodiversiteit en klimaatverandering zijn drie verschillende gezichten van dezelfde centrale uitdaging:…

health in a predominantly engineered environment

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Humans are shifting from a predominantly natural context to a predominantly designed context and this is changing the very foundations upon which health systems reside. The changes in living condition, environment and mentality of people has altered the nature of disease in just the past decades. Right now globally there's a massive shift - called the epidemiological shift - from communicable diseases to non-communicable diseases. These health issues are termed ‘lifestyle diseases’ or ‘diseases of civilization’ because the majority of these are preventable. Comprehensive and interdisciplinary approaches are necessary to meaningfully address the complex issues of human health and well-being.…

Could the world be sleepwalking into a crisis?

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Global risks are intensifying but the collective will to tackle them appears to be lacking. Instead, divisions are hardening. Geopolitical and geo-economic tensions have risen among the world’s major powers and now represent the most urgent global risks, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2019. In a world of shifting power and divergent values, it is likely to become more difficult to make progress on shared global challenges. Such progress requires two things: alignment on priorities for action, and then sustained coordination and collaboration. The example of climate change shows that, even when the first is possible,…

Something different; What is life?

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In 1943 the great physicist Erwin Schrödinger, gave a series of lectures at Trinity College Dublin, published the next year as his book What Is Life? Schrödinger’s central question remains unanswered. There is still no agreed-on definition of what life is. Maybe, some suggest, there are biology-specific laws of nature that we have yet to identify. Indeed, Schrödinger himself argued that ‘living matter, while not eluding the ‘laws of physics’ as established up to date, is likely to involve ‘other laws of physics’ hitherto unknown’. We still struggled to make sense of this fundamental question. Life really does look like…