From Urban Fabric to Urbanization Fabric
Nikos Katsikis explores planetary urbanization as a process of re-organization of the world ecological surplus, by building upon a critical instrumentalization of a selection of global geo-spatial datasets. Through the concept of the urbanization fabric, the presentation aims to connect productively processes of restructuring of human and extra-human work, with the dialectical transformation of landscapes of concentrated and extended urbanization, at a global level. Significant contributions in world systems ecology have highlighted the various processes through which waves of capitalist development are continuously re-organizing nature through the interplay of appropriation and exploitation of human and extra-human work. At the same time, debates on Planetary Urbanization, have been highlighting how urbanization is organizing a vast set of landscapes that extend far beyond dense agglomeration zones. In fact, agglomeration zones, although covering no more than 3% of the earth’s surface, are directly interconnected through their bio-geographical interdependencies with the transformation of the rest of the 70% of the total land surface which is currently used, and which mostly hosts landscapes of primary production. Thus, urbanization can be conceived as a way of organizing geography, through the particular social and spatial divisions of labor it suggests. The capitalist world ecology is undeniably an urbanized world ecology; the Capitalocene is also the Urbanthropocene. These rich conceptual, theoretical and methodological contributions have yet to come together into a productive synthesis.
Design Agency within Earth Systems Symposium
Organized by AA Landscape Urbanism Program and
University of Westminster