Smart by Nature: The Use of Swarm Planning in Creating Productive and Adaptive Urban Landscapes

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Conference Proceeding
8th Conference of the International Forum on Urbanism (IFoU), 2015
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A smart city is a city capable of adjusting its sizes, structures and shapes. Nature gives us the information how this could be achieved. The ‘Software ’ of the city (green, water, food, sustainability, social constructs) is obstructed by the ‘Hardware ’ (infrastructure, roads, sewage, buildings, economics). This makes it hard to create space for Climate Impacts and Urban Agriculture as their requirements are uncertain, temporary, change seasonally, occur suddenly and change over longer periods and street patterns, main structures and buildings are usually immovable. In this paper different types of uncertainty or change are identified and matched with according Urbanism concepts. Slow Urbanism is linked with a slow change and weak economic demand of certain land-use, such as Urban Agricuture while Suddenism is introduced as a way of urban design dealing with the sudden impacts of a climate (or natural) disaster. Becoming smart by nature, eg let the rules of nature guide us in city planning, could improve the adjustability of the city and allow spaces to shrink and grow, depending the needs at times. Nature’s principles function as the ultimate smart design principles. For the city, as a complex adaptive system lessons can be learnt. The emergence, one of the properties of these systems gives us the spatial guide to adjust the city when slow
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