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 Clinging to an outdated mindset and tinkering with our existing processes and institutions will not do.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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A reminder to navigate toward a new order of complexity

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The broadest of perspectives can locate the shift underway on planet Earth as the most recent scene in a vast pageant of cosmic emergence. A cosmological panorama takes us beyond the ambit of daily life and beyond even the larger compass of human history, offering a vantage point for pondering the contemporary predicament. About 3.8 billion years ago, life appeared on Earth, opening a new chapter in the story of the universe. Biological evolution has been a wondrous adventure of tenacity and inventiveness through titanic episodes of extinction and proliferation. One uncommonly dexterous line—the primates—proved particularly consequential, giving rise to…

Concerned about tipping points? YES!

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In a biophysical perspective, the Earth is a system that primarily gets its energy from the sun, while the economy is seen as a metabolic organism that develops within the limits of the biosphere. Anthropogenic pressures on the Earth System have reached a scale where abrupt global environmental change can no longer be excluded. The resilience of the planet has kept it within the range of variation associated with the Holocene state, with key biogeochemical and atmospheric parameters fluctuating within a relatively narrow range. At the same time, marked changes in regional system dynamics have occurred over that period. Despite…

Focal point of the economic transformation

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We cannot prevent an ever-worsening ecological collapse when we apply a religion of never-ending industrial growth and increasing human population far beyond what our finite earth systems can support. Our economy depends entirely on cheap, affordable energy which, even with today’s massive subsidies of fossil fuel production, is running out. While capitalism sometimes thrives on creating artificial scarcity — even for non-competitive goods —it also promotes the idea of endless economic ​​growth. Economic models where the organizing parameters are scarcity, control, hoarding, hierarchies, and relationships of power being held over others and defined by the production and consumption of goods…

We can do better.

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Humans are now living within a period of the Earth’s history appropriately named ‘The Anthropocene’. The name is derived from the observed human influence and indeed increasing dominance of climatic, biophysical, and evolutionary processes occurring at a planetary scale. The issue of human dominance is not simply climate change (as bad as that is), it is the whole capitalist development paradigm that is at the dark heart of maldevelopment—that which undermines and destroys the very foundations of all life on earth. During a relatively short period of human history, we have seen the emergence of a growth-addicted industrial-technological society that…