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We have to introduce ecological cycles to
transform our cities into healthy cities.
Production, consumption, decomposition,
production and so on, have to be reintegrated
into the city structure. The trick is to connect
different cycles to create synergies. The more
connected the cycles, the more synergies we get as
surplus. This why cities will change (in our vision)
from centralised to decentralised structures. The
city will diversify into a conglomerate of smaller
units, like villages or cells of a body.
Thinking in ecological cycles, everything will be
transferred – like a plant into a rotting plant into
the fertiliser of a new plant and so on. But there
is one exception – sun radiation comes from the
outside and donates free energy. One hour of
sunshine per year is enough to provide humankind
with its energy needs. Therefore, the sun plays
a core role in future healthy cities. Future cities
have to become solar cities.
solutions for an ecological future
WINTHROP PROFESSOR DR JOERG BAUMEISTER – DIRECTOR OF THE
AUSTRALIAN URBAN DESIGN RESEARCH CENTRE (AUDRC)
As scientists, we have the huge responsibility to bridge the present with the future. We have the knowledge to learn from the past,
the tools to analyse recent problems and, hopefully, the innovative minds to create important solutions for the future. Humankind
has been exploiting natural resources for centuries. We use and throw them away as declared waste, which results in irresponsible
pollution of the environment and, subsequently, ourselves as creatures of the environment. This results in the death of millions
of people every year. Nature does not have the concept of waste and thus we are nowadays neglecting the rules of the planet,
on which we are a biotic part. In order to play by the rules we have to tie back in what we call ‘waste’ as a viable source in order to
keep the system of our underlying live-source ‘ecology’ alive. After centuries of repression of the environment, humankind has to
integrate back into the ecological cycles.
Photosynthesis is the natural way to transfer solar
energy into food or other energies. Therefore, as
generators of biomass, future cities will be like
sponges – collecting, transferring and storing as
much sunlight as possible. Future cities will be
green solar sponges.
Based on the biomass production of solar cities,
additional ecological cycles can be introduced. The
future food cycle starts here with forage plants for
humans and animals. The organic waste can be
taken to produce bio-gas (energy again) before it
cycles back again as fertiliser for the green sponge.
By putting the food cycle into water, hydrophytes
feed fish, which dung the plants and are at the
same time delicate food (human energy).
This is just one of innumerable possible
ecological cycles and connections. In general,
we call this the strategy of ‘ecolution’. It is
a solution (and a revolution), which takes
humankind back into ecology. It balances
the natural and built environments – and
doesn’t pollute the environment and us. It is
an approach to generating urban solutions,
which tie humankind and their products of
civilisation back into the system of ecology.
Hence it can also be seen as a revolution to
Could you imagine walking
along St Georges Terrace in
a garden landscape, between
fish ponds and sheep grazing?
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