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 Clinging to an outdated mindset and tinkering with our existing processes and institutions will not do.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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There is no pixie dust!

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The Earth System is an emcompassing planetary system that comprises the biosphere, i.e., the sum of all living biota and their interactions and feedbacks with the geosphere, including the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and upper lithosphere. Over its evolution, the earth system has been driven predominantly by astronomical and geophysical forces. However, in the last six decades or so, there is a large increase in the rate of growth of the anthropological causes. This recent trend is further highlighted when put against the remarkable stability of last ten millennia, the epoch that start with the end of the last glacial period,…

What’s after, what’s next

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We have difficulty accepting that society, economy, technology, and nature are deeply intertwined and co-evolving. This is leading to declining biosphere integrity, disrupting biophysical flows, climate change and the disruption of social foundations, frustrating an economic transformation, just to name a few. Another neglected item is the ongoing convergence between infotech, nanotech, biotech and cognitive sciences that could restructure not just economies and societies but our very bodies and minds. These aforementioned challenges are enormous in scale and complexity, and we will need to take equally enormous leaps in our imagination to meet them successfully. It cannot be stressed enough…

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…