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 Clinging to an outdated mindset and tinkering with our existing processes and institutions will not do.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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Shape-changing, selfhealing, self-assembly, intelligent movement

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No matter how far you travel, no matter in which direction you point, there is nowhere on Earth that remains free from the traces of human activity. 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. It is not just that human activities have stained every corner of the entire planet. The simultaneous arrival of a range of powerful new technologies are starting to…

Learning to evolve together

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The extent of urban areas is increasing around the world, and most humans now live in cities. Urbanization results in dramatic environmental change, including increased temperatures, more impervious surface cover, altered hydrology, and elevated pollution. Urban areas also host more non-native species and reduced abundance and diversity of many native species. These environmental changes brought by global urbanization are creating novel ecosystems with unknown consequences for the evolution of life. Anthropogenic activities in general are known to affect evolutionary processes across a wide range of organisms, but these results from nonurban environments do not necessarily pertain to urban environments because…

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.…