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The City as a System

Artistic Strategies, Future Memories, and Fluid Identities

  • Forthcoming: expected Winter 2023. You can pre-order this book in our webshop. Once the book is ready, we will dispatch your order.

  • A refreshing new take on urbanism which considers the city's metabolism as that of a living organism, beyond traditional ideas of what a city is
  • An all-encompassing, holistic approach to be able to structure and design cities in a better way for all creatures, a better climate, and all streams of activities in a city
  • Advocates for conducting thorough research into the underlying system of the urban fabric in the face of urban, economic, social, and environmental challenges
  • Explores what new types of neighbourhoods, cities, and buildings may emerge when designers use this all-encompassing, 'metabolic' approach and research by design as method

Editors: David Dooghe, Eric Frijters, Catja Edens, Matthijs Ponte, Thijs van Spaandonk, Christopher de Vries, Jet van Zwieten

Support: Creative Industries Fund NLVan Eesteren-Fluck & Van Lohuizen StichtingLectorate Future Urban Regions

Photography: Roosje Verschoor

Design: Catalogtree

Info: Winter 2023, trancityxvaliz, pb, 21 x 17 cm (h x w), 256 pp., English, ISBN 978-94-93246-14-0, € 27,50


Difficult problems do not always require far-fetched solutions, but in order to arrive at the solution a change of perspective may be in order. The City as a System advocates such a change of perspective in the study of the urban environment. It posits that designers who wish to truly improve the functioning of the city and solve tricky urban problems cannot afford to only focus on the spatial manifestation of the city, but should also conduct thorough research into the underlying system, into the operation, use, and performance of the urban fabric.

The authors view the metabolism of the city as that of a living organism. The urban body—as the place where much of our resource use culminates—plays a crucial role in the transition towards a more sustainable living environment.