Urban growth as an organism. Simulation by Myriam B. Mahiques
This definition proposed by professors Antonio Caperna, Alessandro Giuliani, Nikos A. Salingaros, Stefano Serafini, Alessia Cerqua, is reproduced on Thoughts of Architecture and Urbanism with their permission:
¨Biourbanism focuses on the urban organism, considering it as a hypercomplex system, according to its internal and external dynamics and their mutual interactions.
The urban body is composed of several interconnected layers of dynamic structure, all influencing each other in a non-linear manner. This interaction results in emergent properties, which are not predictable except through a dynamical analysis of the connected whole. This approach therefore links Biourbanism to the Life Sciences, and to Integrated Systems Sciences like Statistical Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Operations Research, and Ecology in an essential manner. The similarity of approaches lies not only in the common methodology, but also in the content of the results (hence the prefix “Bio”), because the city represents the living environment of the human species. Biourbanism recognizes “optimal forms” defined at different scales (from the purely physiological up to the ecological levels) which, through morphogenetic processes, guarantee an optimum of systemic efficiency and for the quality of life of the inhabitants. A design that does not follow these laws produces anti-natural, hostile environments, which do not fit into an individual’s evolution, and thus fail to enhance life in any way.
Biourbanism acts in the real world by applying a participative and helping methodology. It verifies results inter-subjectively (as people express their physical and emotional wellbeing through feedback) as well as objectively (via experimental measures of physiological, social, and economic reactions).
The aim of Biourbanism is to make a scientific contribution towards: (i) the development and implementation of the premises of Deep Ecology (Bateson) on social-environmental grounds; (ii) the identification and actualization of environmental enhancement according to the natural needs of human beings and the ecosystem in which they live; (iii) managing the transition of the fossil fuel economy towards a new organizational model of civilization; and (iv) deepening the organic interaction between cultural and physical factors in urban reality (as, for example, the geometry of social action, fluxes and networks study, etc.).¨
Nikos Salingaros, Twelve Lectures on Architecture. Algorithmic Sustainable Design, Solingen: Umbau Verlag, 2010.
Nikos Salingaros, Antonio Caperna, Michael Mehaffy, Geeta Mehta, Federico Mena-Quintero, Agatino Rizzo, Stefano Serafini, Emanuele Strano, «A Definition of P2P (Peer-To‐Peer) Urbanism», AboutUsWiki, the P2P Foundation, DorfWiki, Peer to Peer Urbanism (September 2010). Presented by Nikos Salingaros at the International Commons Conference, Heinrich Böll Foundation, Berlin, 1st November 2010.
Milena De Matteis, Stefano Serafini (eds.), Progettare la città a misura d’uomo. L’alternativa ecologica del Gruppo Salìngaros: una città più bella e più giusta, Rome: SIBU, 2010.
Stephen Marshall, Cities, Design & Evolution, London: Routledge, 2008.
Peter Newman Tima Beatley, Heather Boyer, Resilient Cities. Responding to Peak Oil and Climate Change, Washington: Island Press, 2009.
Joseph P. Zbilut, Alessandro Giuliani, Simplicity. The Latent Order of Complexity, New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2007.
Sergio Porta, Paolo Crucitti, Vito Latora, “The network analysis of urban streets: a primal approach”, Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 33 (2006), pp. 705-725.
Juval Portugali (ed.), Complex Artificial Environments. Simulation, Cognition and VR in the Study and Planning of Cities, Berlin - Heidelberg - New York: Springer, 2006.
Michael Batty, Cities and Complexity: understanding cities with cellular automata, agent-base models, and fractals, Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 2005.
Christopher Alexander, The Nature of Order, 4 vol., Berkeley, CA: Center for Environmental Structure, 2002-2005.
Juval Portugali, Self-Organization and the City, Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2000.
Grant Hildebrand, Origins of architectural pleasure, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1999.
Stephen R. Kellert, Edward O. Wilson (eds.), The Biophilia Hypotesis, Washington: Island Press, 1993.
René Thom, Esquisse d’une Sémiophysique, Paris: InterEditions, 1991.
Antonio Lima-de-Faria, Evolution without Selection. Form and Function by Autoevolution, London – New York – Amsterdam: Elsevier Science, 1988.
Gregory Bateson, Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity (Advances in Systems Theory, Complexity, and the Human Sciences), Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 1979.
Conrad H. Waddington, Tools for Thought, London: Jonathan Cape Ltd., 1977.
Edgar Morin, La Méthode I: La Nature de la Nature, Paris: Seuil, 1977.
Ludwig von Bertalanffy, General System Theory, New York: George Braziller, 1968.
Read more about Biourbanism: