Urbanism in the Anthropocene

On May 9th I will begin a three week long course with 40 3rd year students at AAA on Urbanism in the Anthropocene.

The course takes its point of departure the fact that natural scientists think of our contemporary age as a new geological epoch. The Holocene has given way to the ‘Anthropocene’ as human activities have significant impact on the transformations of our planet, its ecosystems, and geology. Concurrently, urban researchers think of our age as ‘the urban age’ since more than 50% of the population of the Earth now lives in cities. The percentage is expected to increase in the coming decades.

In short: the future of humanity most probably will be fundamentally marked by both urbanization and the human impact on the planet Earth.

The course kickstarts with a two day international public seminar, which addresses the challenges confronting urbanism (urban design and planning, landscape urbanism) due to the entanglement of urbanisation and anthropogenic processes. The speakers are Simon Marvin, Professor in Geography at the Urban Institute at Sheffield university and good friends Jens Christian Svenning, Professor in Biodiversity at the Aarhus University, who participates in the development of the Aarhus Landscape Laboratory, and Thomas Sieverts, Professor Emeritus in Urbanism, who supervised my PhD.

On May 10th I I will present my ongoing work on the Aarhus River Valley and the establishment of the Aarhus Landscape Laboratory on a former waste deposit right next to the river, only a short walk from the future location of the Aarhus School of Architecture. An area which is also the focus of the 3rd year students participating in the course.