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 Clinging to an outdated mindset and tinkering with our existing processes and institutions will not do.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 systemic crisis urges a systemic response

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When a great number of factors congeal and the future of a complex system is dependent on a multiplicity of actors, there is never only one possible future. We need to take account of a plethora of changes that intermesh – from demographics to the possibility of sustained major migratory movements (associated with security, war, and conflict and destined in future to be increasingly caused by the fall-out effects of climate change) and globalization (which exacerbates still further the rapid spatial shifting through digitization and automation). Other factors in the global context are security /data security as a possible disruptor…

I don’t think people realize how little time we have left.

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There are socioeconomic and socioecological systems that are changing quickly. Human-caused environmental changes can materialize very rapidly, or abruptly, typically at rates much faster than sustained natural changes of the past. In the Anthropocene biosphere, systems of people and nature are not just linked but intertwined and intertwined across temporal and spatial scales. Local events can escalate into global challenges, and local places are shaped by global dynamics. The tightly coupled human interactions of globalization that allow for the continued flow of information, capital, goods, services, and people, also create global systemic risk. However, this interplay is not only global…

Nearly 50 years after ….

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The Club of Rome concluded in Limits to Growth (1972) that if humanity kept pursuing economic growth without regard for environmental and social costs, global society would experience a sharp decline (i.e., collapse) in economic, social, and environmental conditions within the twenty-first century. The message was clear: continuous growth in industrial output cannot be sustained indefinitely. Effectively, humanity can either choose its own limit or at some point reach an imposed limit, at which time a decline in human welfare will have become unavoidable. An often missed, but key point is the plural of limits.  In an interconnected system like…

Shifting boundaries … a new Renaissance.

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Caught in the grip of ecological, social, political, and economic risks and conflicts, the world hovers between optimism and pessimism. The Renaissance, coming a thousand years after the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, reestablished science on a stronger basis than before, and technological advancement has continued on an accelerating path since then. The hallmark of the Renaissance was its holistic quality, as all fields of art, engineering, science, and culture shared the same exciting spirit and many of the same intellectual principles. However, as the centuries passed, the holism of the Renaissance gave way to specialization and intellectual…