A City is an Organism

The System of Life is growing in size and in complexity, and so do the infrastructures sustaining it.

In 2008 the point was reached where more than 50% of the world population lives in cities. That percentage is growing. By 2030, over 60% of the world’s population – nearly five billion people – will be living in urban area.

The System of Life is generating Super Organisms and the City is one of them.

Urbanization is only a relatively recent phenomenon. As far as we now know urbanization started in Mesopotamia around 4000 – 3500 BC.

For the Ancient Mesopotamians, the cities were the centers of life. Their beginning of time was not a Garden of Eden, but rather an ancient site called Eridu, which they believed was the first city ever to be created.  The creator of Eridu was Enki, the God who came out of the Deep Waters of the Ocean  (the Abzu). The city of Eridu was destroyed by the Great Flood in 3117 BC.

Every time one of the Rulers of a City took control over many Cities and a State was created with a new Center, the Capital. In the Center of the Capital the Palace of the Ruler was situated. What we see is an Expanding Pattern in which the same Structure repeats itself all the Time.

Initially the two life-essential resources for cities were Water and Food.

As Cities grew and as technology evolved, the supply of these resources became dependent on energy for processing, for pumps and for transportation. In the process, cities and their resources evolved into a system of life energized by the individuals that populate cities, and fuel its dynamics.

mexico-city

Mexico-City

Kleiber's law

Kleiber's law

About the Law of Kleiber

The Law of Kleiber shows that Bottum-Up Structures are more efficient than Top-Down Structures.

It also shows that Big Structures are more efficient than Small Structures. The Law is applicable from the level of the Bacteria to the Level of the City and higher.

These two statements are a contradiction until we realize that there are two ways of looking at the same structure. One view is the Top-Down View. The other is the Bottom Up View. When we look Down we see a huge Hierarchy and start to believe that Big is Beautiful.

When we look Up we see that all the work is done by Small Cooperative Components starting at the Bottom with the Bacteria.

The Law of Kleiber is explained by the fact that all the organisms (including the Cities) contain the Same Fractal Structure.

Bacteria exchange their DNA

Bacteria exchange their DNA

About DNA

In the Beginning the Chemical Soup generated Self-Reproducing Chemical Factories. These Factories combined into bigger Factories by exchanging and combining their Factory-Designs (DNA-parts).

Every time when the Factories fused they became more Efficient, Bigger, Stronger, Older and therefore more Competitive. When the Factories became more Competitive they started to Protect themselves against the other Factories.

To Protect themselves the Multi-Cellular Systems began to Sense in Many Directions and became better and better in Predicting the Future.

One of our Ancient Ancestors is the Sponge which is a static Cluster of Bacteria. Scientist have detected that the DNA of the Sponge has a lot in common with the Human DNA. The Sponge contains the Basic Fractal Structure, the Tube.

In a later stage our Ancestors developed something we call a Brain. The Brain is used to Sense the Now and Predict the Future.

The Human is a Moving Sponge who is able to Imagine. With his Imagination the Human is capable to Change the Future (and the Past).

Sponge

The Sponge, the Tube, is the Basic Structure

One of the Bilateria: The Octopus

The Octopus is a Sponge with a Brain.

About Innovation

The Law of Kleiber can be explained by the principle of Self-Reference (Similarity,  Fractals).

The Small Structures at the Bottum combine into comparable structures on a higher level.

What we don’t see is that the structures on every level can be decomposed in the Same (DNA-)Components with a different Scale and a different Name.

Innovation is nothing but a  Combination of  the Components in many different ways until all the combinations are made.

At that moment One of the Combinations becomes the new DNA and a new Level is explored.

Life explores every possible path.

About Cities

A City is a Combination of Houses.

A City protects a Cluster of Houses. A House protects a Cluster of Humans and a Human protects a Cluster of Organs.

All the way down to the Bacteria,  Cooperative Clusters are formed that give the participants a more Secure Way to Live.

A House is a Body. It supports the Body but it also contains all the Bodily Functions.

If we provide the House with these Bodily Functions the House becomes more Sustainable. It is possible to regenerate the Waste that the Humans produce into Energy just as the Liver is doing in our Body.

If we Cluster the Bodily Houses into a City and we provide the City with the same functions of the Body we are able to create structures that are independent of the input of external Top-Down Sources of Energy and Food.

If we are able to detect the DNA of the House and the DNA of the City we are able to Compose new Types of Houses and Cities that are Adaptable, Scalable,  highly Sustainable and are also in Balance with Nature.

It will also be  much more easy to Destroy or Move buildings and cities to another Place without the production of Waste.

looking-to-toledo1

Toledo (Spain)

About Synchronization

In the Miedeval City the Major Cycle was the Cycle of the Seasons. In the Modern City we have become almost independent of the Cycles. We import Food and Energy out of every place in the World.

It takes a Lot of Energy to transport the Food and Energy and Many Places on Earth are dependent on a small amount of other Places that contain the Sources of our always increasing Need to Survive the Effects of our Environment.

When a lot of People (The Slaves) are dependent on a small amount of people (The Masters), the Masters start to dominate the others and increase their Power until Eternity. Power is the most important Addiction of the Humans.

The problem becomes bigger when we realize that many people are producing Food and Energy but are themselves not able to use the Food and the Energy they are producing.

The independence of the Cycles has created a huge unbalance. This unbalance is not only visible in the City but in every place on Earth that is providing Energy and Food to sustain the Modern City.

The only solution to this problem is to create self-sustaining (autarkic) Cities that are able to supply their own food, water  and energy.

Paris

The kernels of Paris

When we want to restore Balance we have to Synchronize the Cycles in the City.  This can be done with the help of Smart Technology (Sensors, Actuators, Analytics) but we can also make use of very old fashioned techniques that were used in the Middle Ages.

When Humans communicate from the Heart and focus on the same subject, the Humans start to Synchronize. They become a  Group.

The most important structure in the Miedeval City to Synchronize its inhabitants was the Building of the Heart, the Church.   The Church was always situated in the Center and was visible from a long distance. The Church was also the only place where people were always Protected.

The Human Heart is doing the same thing as the Church is doing in the City. It connects the Mind with the Organs of  the Body and the Pericardium provides one of the major Rythms of the Human Body.

If we want to Synchronize the City we have to create a Center where People are able to Commun(e)nicate about the Shared Goals of the City. The most important way to share can be found in the Human Culture. The Centres have to contain all the ways Human Culture is performed.

chartres4

The Spiraling Spiral in the Memory Palace of Chartres, the Symbol of the Fractal Universe

About the Memory Palace

Art, Music and Singing were United in the Medieval Cathedrals. The Medieval Cathedrals also contained all the Knowledge (The Memory Palace)  that was needed to understand the Universe.

If we want to Synchronize the Modern City we have to build Modern Cathedrals in the Center of the Center and use them as Places to Commune, to Educate, to Make Music, to Dance and to Sing.

We have to design them as Modern Memory Palaces (Simulators) to teach the Masses about the Fractal Universe and give them Feedback about the State of their own Environment.

sagrada-familia-barcelona-projection

The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (Antoni Gaudi)

LINKS

This is a  presentation about The City as an Organism

Why the Tube is such an Important Structure

About The Law of Kleiber

Why Innovation is a Combination of Combinations

An Interview with Geoffrey West of the Santa Fe Institute about the Law of Kleiber

About Thermo-Economics

About the Autarkic City

About Cybernetics

About Synchronization

How Gaudi used a Machine to design the Sagrada Familia

About Machines that generate Architectures

How the Heart Synchronizes the Body

About Super Organisms

About Smart Technology

About Addiction

About the Master/Slave-relationship

About the Heart

Why the Cathedral contained all the Knowledge that was Needed

About the start of Civilization

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments

  1. Paul P says:

    “Physicist Geoffrey West has found that simple, mathematical laws govern the properties of cities — that wealth, crime rate, walking speed and many other aspects of a city can be deduced from a single number: the city’s population. In this mind-bending talk from TEDGlobal he shows how it works and how similar laws hold for organisms and corporations.”

    http://www.ted.com/talks/geoffrey_west_the_surprising_math_of_cities_and_corporations.html

  2. Archana says:

    very informative and thought provoking.

Leave a Reply