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, 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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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 Clinging to an outdated mindset and tinkering with our existing processes and institutions will not do.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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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…


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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…

The burden and the joy of being Homo Sapiens, the wise species.

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The Anthropocene is commonly understood as the epoch in which the technological activity of industrialized humanity becomes the dominant factor shaping the Earth and its associated life-supporting systems. Supplementing the Holocene, where the relatively warm climate was considered to be the critical geological factor, the Anthropocene places anthropic technological activity in the center, thus marking the time in which natural and human forces are intertwined, so that the fate of the one determines the fate of the other. The concept of the Anthropocene is not isolated to the scientific fields of climate science, geology, and earth-system science, but moves beyond…


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Technology and/or Nature: Denatured/Renatured/Engineered ... In our high-tech world, do we live at the end of nature? Is the technosphere replacing the biosphere? Can humans control their genetically inherited Pleistocene appetites in an Anthropocene Epoch? Living on an engineered planet? Would this fulfill human destiny or display human arrogance, failing to embrace our home planet in care and wonder? The future holds advancing technology to create unimaginable futures, but do not want to live a de-natured life, on a de-natured planet. We are powerfully reshaping human existence: the degradation, if not destruction, of large parts of the natural world, and…