The term biocity proposes a bridging of the gap in the notion that cities and biological systems are disconnected entities.
The biocity is an urban design and planning model arising from landscape architecture and biological theory that proposes cities be reconceptualised as āurban biotopesā, discreet ecological suprasystems that are supported by a myriad of interconnected systems and sub-systems. Developed by Adrian McGregor and the Biocity Studio since 2006 the model has a purpose to shift critical debate in city planning away from fossil fuel led decision making to secure a better future for urban areas under climate change impacts. It has embarked upon the urban genome project, a collaborative, transparent wiki, usingĀ open source intelligence to map the vital DNA of cities and nations. The urban genome project wiki is built upon twelve major urban systems. The indicators can be viewed through the data visualiser to compare the strengths and weaknesses of up to ten nations or cities at a time.
The model adopts a biomimicry agenda that considers the relative equity of the biotopeās twelve constituent systems as paramount. The biocity concept defines twelve interconnected systems that determine the condition of the urban biotope;
The Biocity model proposes a method for determining overall city health through the measurement and evaluation of key indicators across these twelve systems, the Biocity Health Index. Optimum health is achieved when one system is not adversely biased over another and the interrelationships of these systems are managed in a purposeful and mutually beneficial way.
Never before have so many people been exposed to such a hyper scale of impending environmental and resources dilemmas. The capacity for catastrophic geo-political systems failure under oil supply decline and climate change are the subjects of growing international debate. Planning dogma and infrastructure practices are riddled with outmoded post industrial ideologies dependent on cheap crude.
Amid mounting scientific evidence there is a growing awareness that the forms of our contemporary cities are not sustainable. From the bowser of cheap fossil fuels the industrial revolution has spawned mega cities with sprawling low density forms. Suburbia and its peri-urban paraphernalia are the material realisations of oil age planning dreams. Isolation and social dysfunction are attributed to these failed urban forms. Postulations for the imminent end of suburbia are gaining momentum, spear headed by authors, film makers and urbanists.
The biocity concept defines twelve interconnected systems that determine the condition of the urban biotope; biodiversity, built form, culture/education, economy, pollution/chemicals, energy, food, governance, human health, transport, waste and water.
The term biocity alludes to a bridging of the gap in the notion that city and country are disconnected entities. If we do not recognise our place inside nature and change our attitude from superior being to equal partner it is possible that the human race may be consumed by evolution itself.
The biocity studio is testing the theoretical territory of these concepts on numerous cities through the urban genome project wiki. It is also undertaking university collaborations and the teaching to design and planning students. It is looking for opportunities to partner with progressive organisations on urban research.
A more detailed paper on the philosophy of the Biocity model is contained here.
McGregor Coxall launched the Biocity Studio in 2006 as a research and development company focused on urban environmental sustainability. The studio is based in Sydney Australia and embarks on various projects.
Establish a collaborative community to develop ideas that contribute to the next generational shift in city sustainability.
The Biocity Visualiser