DescriptionSPECIAL SESSION: Autotrophic Cities: from consuming to producing urbanism
Our world is approaching a battle between a rising population combined with an influx of urbanisation (increasing the demand on jobs, housing, transportation, energy, water and food) and the fatal consequences on our ecological system. Consequently, the current (linear) urban model continues to challenge the wealth and wellbeing of future generations. Based on consumption and resource throughput, not only are we depleting resources (e.g., energy, nutrients, water, space) but adding ever more amounts of waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
To ease the pressure on the natural environment, our ability to adapt our urban realities to the finite world we are living in, a transformation of today’s cities into ecologically sustainable cities will be necessary.
Hence this special session approaches a holistic system’s perspective to think beyond current urban metabolism and circular economy trends. Like autotrophic organisms can produce their own food (using light, water, carbon-dioxide, etc.), this session seeks to explore solutions to transform the heterotrophic (consuming) city into an autotrophic (producing) one. Autotrophy is used here as a concept for cities to become primary producers for the survival of humankind, where all resources, processes and structures are interlinked, interdependent and coevolving (creating long-term balance).