The Concept

This project starts with the view that ecology and urban planning are two separate worlds with very different cultures and references.

However, we need ecologists and environmental experts that are more skilled in urbanism, and urbanists with more expertise in ecology.

The TERRESTRIAL CITIES course aims at increasing the common ground between ecology and urbanism.

Is the notion of habitat not as central in ecology than in architecture ? Is the ecological crisis not a conflict of habitat fundamentally?

“If ecology is the science of the relationship of living beings with the Earth, then urban ecology poses a fundamental question: How can human habitats be organized differently so that they can fit into other terrestrial habitats? “How can we work with the Earth to remake society?

Ecology by cities

The modern city is partly responsible for the ecological crisis. It is also one of the first victims of the impacts of that crisis.

The city can and must become a lever for solving the ecological crisis. Municipalities are well-positioned to implement change.

Some towns and urban areas have already started to transition. But without a long-term vision, how can we implement necessary measures, encourage citizen initiatives, and get city dwellers on board?

What should the green cities of tomorrow look like?

Our diagnosis:

global disorder - but local solutions

Climate change is the main ecological problem in the eyes of nations, international organizations, and industry, who see the planet as a mega-object to be managed.
From this point of view, the solution would be to reduce CO2 emissions (“decarbonization”), via geoengineering if necessary.

Why is this the wrong approach?

Because reducing CO2 emissions and geoengineering will not have a positive effect on what is really the major ecological problem of our time: the extinction of life on Earth (“Sixth Extinction”).

At the local and municipal levels, people are well aware that the ecological crisis is primarily about the extinction of living beings, which is the direct result of our ways of occupying space. Land consolidation, urban sprawl, car culture, habitat destruction, disappearance of birds and wildlife, degradation of living conditions and health.
It is time to reinvent the city and the countryside—and reweave the relationship between our habitat, production, and food.

/!\ The answer therefore lies not so much in decarbonization as in energy descent, i.e., the reduction of energy consumption by industrial societies.