In the first of this year’s seminar series, we were delighted to host Abid Mehmood, from Cardiff University.

Dr. Mehmood’s paper, “On the history and potentials of evolutionary metaphors in urban planning” provides important insight into various ways in which urban thinkers have incorporated evolutionary images into their conceptualizations of cities. This paper has informed our own theorizing in Parts III, and III of “Towards a Model of Urban Evolution.” 

For our seminar, Dr. Mehmood presented his paper on nature-inspired approaches to urban planning. Here is the abstract:

“Considering cities as complex adaptive systems, the talk will critically examine the (re)emergence of nature-inspired trends in urban planning and design as a way of exploring new relationships between people and places. Although the use of metaphors is not new when describing the state of a city, the recent turn is more concerned with achieving optimal efficiency and overall sustainability of the built environment through observations and experiences from nature. I would further argue that such approaches should aim for integrating citizens’ needs, inclusion and empowerment for a holistic view to the science of cities.”