Participating in PhD defense at TU Berlin

Living in cities has the risk of being trapped when systems fail: how to survive? Cities have faded away from their resource base, and consume far above the carrying capacity of their regions , and combined, beyond that of the earth. How to address this ?

deflander defense

Katleen deFlander did her research just on this issue, working at IASS in Potsdam and doing a doctorate at the TU Berlin. As external supervisor I was able to take part in the discussions on theory development, and in her final defense last week. Her analyses found that cities became closed systems (tree structured cities ; ecocities are gated communities of the future ) , while resource cycles opened widely: infinite supply . While the solutions point at a ‘ open cities and closed cycles’ situation, mutually supportive. A interesting work, were small ‘shocks’ could create changes in the right direction, in any case provide a window to try to re-create the way a city is functioning. Though small shocks might not be enough, it requires major shocks and changes, but at least we will know how to act then.

The full work will soon be available, but expert workshops and dialogue workshops added to the fact finding an theory building. See some of these reflections here: