6 months ago




7 PREFACE DESIGNING TERRITORIAL METABOLISM AT THE CROSSROADS OF URBANISM, ECOLOGY, AND ECOSYSTEM THINKING Geoffrey Grulois, Carles Crosas, and Maria Chiara Tosi What is urbanism in the age of the Anthropocene? How should we bridge the discipline of urbanism and the emerging question of urban ecology, urban metabolism, and ecosystem thinking? What is the future of European metropolitan regions? These are some of the questions our team of professors from the Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura de Barcelona of Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, the Faculty of Architecture of Université libre de Bruxelles, and the Università Iuav di Venezia shared around 2013. To address such complex questions, we needed to go beyond our routine educational agenda and develop an urban design practice that was, for each of us, well-grounded in our respective local contexts (Barcelona, Brussels, and Venice). We had to build a network of shared experimentation at the crossroads of urbanism and ecology. Over the last decade, a number of research studies have been conducted at this intersection (Farr, 2008; Van Bueren et al., 2012; Pickett et al., 2013)—all pointing toward a reconfiguration of the discipline. However, our assumption was that the practices of learning by describing, designing, and projecting the territory that are common in our respective schools of urbanism could become one key holistic tool for tackling the complex social, economic, and ecological prob-