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Algemeen

It is bad enough as it is, but are we not just treating the symptoms …

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The massive transformation enacted by humanity is also why our geological era, which is akin to the operating system on which the living world depends, recently had its name updated to the anthropocene – the age of humanity. So what is the path forward? The necessary solutions for ensuring that our children enjoy healthy and abundant natural habitats are not simple. But one thing is certain. For humanity to head in the right direction, we must take a closer look at what is around us. We cannot count on the blind leading the blind.

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Intelligent Life

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With networks, we can organize and integrate information at different levels. On a biological level, our bodies are made up of many networks that are integrated at and communicating on multiple scales. From our genome to the molecules and cells that makeup the organs in our bodies all the way out to ourselves in our world: we are fundamentally a network of networks. Living organisms are, in essence, complex systems which process information using a combination of hardware and software. Over time, people figured this out and started to use natural systems as inspiration for efficient solutions. If we listen to…

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Understanding our cities: a fusion of complex system science and AI.

By | Algemeen | 7 Comments

The fascinating thing about cities is that different aspects of them allow us to think about them in many different ways. At the level of urban infrastructure, cities certainly have features of machines, with vast constructed networks involved in transporting people, water, electricity, and waste. At the level of the economy, cities resemble complex ecosystems, with companies and individuals filling specific niches and all living and working in a symbiotic dance. And at the level of growth and change, cities also feel like living, breathing, constantly growing and changing organisms.

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We have a once-in-our-lifetime opportunity

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The Holocene epoch of the last 10,000 years or so is defined by highly unusual stability in the Earth system. In particular, the climate system shows little variability compared to the preceding late Pleistocene. The Holocene is now giving way to the Anthropocene, in which human influences introduce instability in the Earth system of a degree unprecedented in human history – but common in geological time. The consequences for all political institutions, not just those parts of government normally classified as environmental, are profound.

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Behaving like children rampaging through a sweetshop.

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We have to recognize that our impact is game-changing on this planet, that we are all responsible, and that we have to become stewards of nature – as a part of it, rather than behaving like children rampaging through a sweetshop. The Anthropocene as new epoch of geological time in which human activity is considered such a powerful influence on the environment, climate and ecology of the planet that it will leave a long-term signature in the strata record. And what a signature it will be. We have bored 50m kilometres of holes in our search for oil. We remove…

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Fysiek en mentaal gezond in de stad

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Menselijke sensorische organen en systemen evolueerden om te reageren op onze natuurlijke omgeving. We zijn intrinsiek nog steeds verbonden met de natuur. Ook zijn onze behoeftes op de natuur gebaseerd en we zijn in veel gevallen op de natuur aangewezen, zowel voor wat betreft onze fysieke en materiële behoeften (voedsel, kleding, werktuigen, bouwmaterialen, medicijnen, etc.). De natuur komt ook tegemoet aan onze kunstzinnige, emotionele, intellectuele en spirituele verlangens. Recente studies hebben aangetoond dat het leven in steden en stedelijke omgevingen onze fysieke en mentale gezondheid degradeert. Kunstmatige en besloten ruimten, gestandaardiseerde architectuur, lawaai of vervuiling verhogen het risico op het ontwikkelen van…

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A Rapidly Changing Earth System.

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The arrival of the age when human activity has come to dominate and seriously compromise the stability of the Earth System poses fundamental questions for our cultural, social and economic institutions, our communities, and our systems of governance. Three decades of internationally coordinated research on the Earth system has led to the conclusion that Earth has entered a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene. Humanity will face a turbulent road of rapid and profound changes and uncertainties on route to a politically, socially and ecologically resilient society. The Anthropocene changes our relationship with the planet and the stability and resilience…

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Human technology could be responsible for many more manifestations of ‘nature’ than the previous Earth was ever capable of sustaining.

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Humans are altering the planet, including long-term global geologic processes, at an increasing rate. Any formal recognition of an Anthropocene epoch in the geological time scale hinges on whether humans have changed the Earth system sufficiently to produce a stratigraphic signature in sediments and ice that is distinct from that of the Holocene epoch. Biologically, there is nothing remarkable in the fact that humans are agents of ecological change and environmental upset. All species transform their surroundings. The dizzying complexity of landscapes on Earth is not just a happy accident of geology and climate, but the result of billions of…

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Energy Transformation

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Targets on greenhouse gas emissions and transition towards renewable energy are ambitious. The generation of energy will be increasingly from variable renewables like wind and solar in all sizes, ranging from big offshore wind farms and large solar fields down to urban wind turbines on high rise buildings and rooftop solar panels at individual homes. Not only the diversity in generation capacity will increase but also the diversity in ownership from a few owners of big power plants in the past to a mix of numerous owners of smaller and dispersed generating plants today and tomorrow.

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Urban System Engineering

By | Algemeen

Urban complexity implies multiple dimensions of interactions over a vast range of phenomena governed for example by economic, physical, ecological and environmental aspects and political, health and educational systems. And of social aspects, cognitive and ethical intelligence like social economic status, equality, demographics, psychological and cognitive factors such as ideology, sexual identity. Ethical intelligence defined as the structural logic to survive, earn value, add value, acquire and manage knowledge and deal with the nature of reality. Revealing these full range of interactions between sets of these variables is difficult. Complex systems, at least theoretically could be a better way of…

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