What would a city look like if nature was given a seat at the table of an urban planning committee? Inspired by Bruno Latour's Politics of Nature, URWI's urbanization process lends a democratic voice to elements of nature through scientific experts. These voices demand the creation of an urban space that maintains or enhances natural cycles and systems.

ATMOSPHERE

Dr. Volker Ermert
University of Cologne I Tropical Meteorology and Extreme Weather Specialist

 

PLANTS

Dr. Doris Linzmeier
50 Thousand Trees Initiative I Biologist and Environmental Activist

 

 

SOIL

Dr. Barbara Möhlendick
Climate Change and Smart City Coordinator of the City of Cologne

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»You as a city should only produce as many greenhouse gases so that you do not strongly change the composition of my atmospheric gases like that of carbon dioxide. Do not pollute me since you will harm yourself when people become ill. Your citizens shall combat climate change, which would strongly alter my condition. I would get fever and extreme and unprecedented weather events would occur. In order to balance myself I would produce heat waves, convective storms and extreme rainfall events in summer and stronger cyclones in winter.«


»Look at us – oaks, beeches and lime-trees – with reverence and joy. Together we offer you the space for recreation. We are home to animals and plants. Our root systems and those of other plants combat the impact of wind and water erosion. We protect your homes against storms and flooding. We clean the air you breathe. We provide shade and cool air on hot summer days. We give you oxygen so that you can live. We are essential for human life, for all life on earth. Therefore, let us be part of your cities as avenues, parks, gardens and forests.«


»Most people do not take note of me but without the ecosystem services which I provide human life on earth would be impossible. In cities I help to regulate the climate and filter contaminated water. I am also of great importance for the world climate: I store the second biggest amount of carbon after the oceans. If I am healthy, just a few hundred grams of me can contain more organisms than human life on earth

THE NATURAL SITE

MSc. Raul de Villafranca
Universidad Iberoamericana I Regenerative Design, Biomimicry and Ecological Architect

 

»One can only design as me using the principles of life as design guides and decision-making tools. If I am to be preserved or even enhanced, I need to maintain my systemic synergy in a way that I can create conditions that promote life. The roles for each of my components should understand the specific role they are playing with respect to the greater picture. In other words, to consider me is to consider the greater system and the surroundings without compromising our complexity or participation within the system. In a more specific way, promoting all environmental services of the bioregional ecosystem, namely the watershed.«

WATER

Prof. Dr. Karl Schneider
University of Cologne Faculty of Natural Sciences I Hydrogeography and Climatology

»I as water need my water balance, fluxes and storages to stay intact. With intact storages, water limitations can be bridged and water access mitigated. Keep the access to different storages open and keep my quality within the limits that are ecologically sustainable — particularly with regard to nitrogen and phosphorus.«

WILDLIFE

Prof. Dr. Shamita Kumar
Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Environment Education & Research I
Landscape Ecology, Biodiversity Law, Sustainable Development

 

»As you enter our homes, remember to weave the greens and the blues together with your homes… Parks, green roofs and trees attract us, they are our ‘stepping stones’. Adoption will be the key ... not by us, but by you! Keep our niches, our food, our corridors – big and small, keep the lights off at night. We don’t understand zones and boundaries, you need to learn how to share ‘our’ space and perhaps develop a new cross species diplomacy based on tolerance and compassion to make this world a wonderful place to live in.«

TRANSVERSALITY

Dr. Andrej Radman
TU Delft Faculty of Architecture and The Built Environment
I Architecture Theory, Radical Empiricism, Ecosophy, Affect Theory

»To embrace naturalism is to see cognition as belonging to the same world as that of its ‘objects’. There is no need to postulate the existence of a more fundamental realm (transcendental ‘skyhooks’). Natura naturans (naturing nature/creator) and natura naturata (natured nature/created) are inseparable. There is no ultimate foundation, but the immanence of powers, relations, and bodily compositions across nested levels. Power is never homogeneous. It can only be defined by the singularities through which it passes. To paraphrase Isabelle Stengers, true creators know that what empowers their creation is not theirs alone. It is quite appropriate to designate this process of involution as ‘magic’, a word of her choice. Moreover, the capacity to resist the present may require the most aberrant of nuptials, as in the orchid-wasp co-creation. To put it succinctly, transversality is a matter of contingent alliance, rather than necessary filiation. In the words of Gerald Raunig, “[organic, technical and social] concatenation and the singularities are co-emergent as the condividuality of condividuals".«