City = Living System
Cities are not only manmade constructions of concrete and asphalt, they are also the natural habitat of men. As large urbanization ambitions come together with meteorological, environmental and health challenges and shortages in the water supply, it is essential to be engaged on cities that provide a safe and healthy place to live in. Regarding the city a living system provides the strategic view to urbanism that can help resolve major city challenges.
Whether there is a surplus, with heavy showers, or not enough, with droughts. Whether it comes in the wrong places, with floodings, or it doesn’t have the right quality, with salinization of the ground water: water management in a defensive way is in the best case expensive and sometimes even dangerous when regarded only engineer’s business in a manipulatable world and a mainly paved dense urban area.
What do living organisms do to survive? First, as moving is not an option in case of a city, adaption to the situation is the thing to do. Second, use what is provided, in example the existing natural surroundings and the sweet water that comes down for free.
Regarding the city a living system makes you wonder why a scarce resource such as potable water is excreted without use. That is what we use to do when it comes to the engineering of the city water system. We drain it as soon as possible, regarding it a potential threat. And in doing so, the water in fact becomes an enemy instead of a necessity of life.