- Earth Day
We are part of the solution!
- Human vs Nature
The impact of farming practices, as seen graphically in this stunning image of Mount Taranaki in New Zealand, has nature literally encircled. Nature will ‘fight’ back unless a balance can be found.
- Rewilding the World
Climate change is unavoidable now according to most scientists. The right decisions need to be made globally to at least mitigate the potential devastating effects and improve the resilience of our built environment.But could the effects of Climate Change be harnessed to create a better world? Could we perhaps turn this real and present danger into an opportunity to achieve balance with Nature? It is time for a new data-based biological urbanism and architecture as metabolic process.
- A twin for everything
It is intrinsic in the history of man (and of the earth) that great crises lead to radical changes or to push in certain directions to “find” alternatives that solve certain problems. Even at this historical juncture, the pushes for radical changes are manifold and herald of great transformations.
One of these is the spread of “Digital Twins”. The Digital twin consists of a series of virtual information that describes a physical, potential, or actual product. There are many potential applications for digital twins: the predictive maintenance and fault detection in manufacturing to the observation of anomalies in the care of patients in the health sector are just two examples.
Digital twins in urban planning are also helping the development of smart cities. In the case of a city, a digital twin is a 3D model that accurately represents streets, buildings, public spaces, and everything related to the physical city. Sensors and data streams around the city power the model. Many digital elements are updated in real time such as electricity or water consumption, maintenance work or the location of emergency services to better respond to emergencies.
When combining the digital twin with the predictive power of big data analytics and artificial intelligence, cities are essentially able to rapidly advance over time to improve urban planning for all types of events, enabling cities to improve their physical and social urban environment.
In a nutshell, with Digital Twin cities could carry out tests, create scenarios and plan important urban changes, to verify the effects before execution. And if these interventions were aimed at improving the quality of life of citizens and the fight against climate change, it is evident that a real revolution in the urban environment could be achieved.
Kassandra’s mission is just this, to create a Digital Twin of a historic city on which to create and test multiple scenarios and then allowing local authorities to focus investments with a single major goal: improve the quality of life of its citizens.
- Lessons from the past
“All our lauded technological progress is like the axe in the hand of a pathological criminal” Albert Einstein
Moments of crisis, like the one we are experiencing, offer opportunities to advance radical and disruptive innovations. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, we therefore have the opportunity of rethinking the values and agendas that guide urban and architectural design.
In fact, the way we design cities is the main cause of emissions causing the environmental crisis. Pandemics are a symptom of this crisis and to avoid them it is necessary to abandon obsolete methods based on consumption and create systemic visions inspired also by informal historical agglomerations where “you can find creative and unexpected solutions and behavioural practices with low environmental impact and coexistence with Nature”.
How these environments manage to be so resilient? Resilience is the ability to face negative events in a positive and constructive way, tracing in the apparently unpleasant condition some opportunities not only for survival, but also for development and evolution.
Let’s start, therefore, from the basics. The search for shelter is the essence and the absolute basis of Architecture. Then use what was readily available in the surrounding natural environment, to create homes that reflected immediate functional needs and an adequate response to local climatic conditions. All the rest was simply a work of refinement, or we could call it “design”, that is, finding ways to improve the basic solution and respond to cultural, aesthetic or technological progress needs.
The continuous success over the centuries of a given place therefore depended on various factors: the availability of resources, security, cultural elements (and by extension religious), personal satisfaction, economic stability and even political will.
I like the idea that the lesson that these historic urban environments teach us is that design must not be anthropocentric, but that it can be inspired by the biology of evolution, as opposed to the deterministic design of the twentieth century and therefore that creativity shares this ecological evolutionary process and is not an alternative to it.