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Editors: Guglielmo Minervino, Stefano Serafini Thanks to: Antonio Caperna, Menno Cramer, Katherine Donaghy, Casagrande Laboratory Nissa Shahid, Eleni Tracada. Picture credits: Angelo Abbate, Clemente Brunetti, Ettore Bruni, Milena Clausi, Alessio Felici, Francesco Letteriello Angelica Fortuzzi, Yulia Kryazheva, Niilo Tenkanen, Nikita Wu.

Š 2014 International Society of Biourbanism Società Internazionale di Biourbanistica -

We unfold the life of places

International Society of Biourbanism

about The International Society of Biourbanism (ISB) is a non-profit scientific and professional network for research, theory, education, and practice in urbanism and architecture. The ISB supports research, publishing, and education by providing a shared area for the exchange and dissemination of knowledge about biourbanism as a new, scientific way to produce urban studies and apply biophilic design. It also provides biourban planning analysis, education, consultancies and projects to cities, communities and practitioners.

aims To ground a new, human-oriented built environment according to the latest scientific achievements in such fields as: complexity theory, fractals, evolutionary biology, morphogenesis, biophilia, biomimicry, artificial intelligence, peer-to-peer urbanism and many more. To bring together new theories, models, urban and architectural design processes, and methodologies. To support the dialogue between practitioners and scholars, by avoiding a purely academic discussion on design. To contribute to a better human society.


Nikos Salingaros He is the Honorary President of the International Society of Biourbanism, and one of its most inspiring leaders. Nikos A. Salingaros is regarded as one of the world’s leading urbanists and architectural theorists. His books “Principles of Urban Structure” and “A Theory of Architecture” provide the foundation for a completely new approach to the built environment. For his contributions to architecture, he was elected member of the International College of Traditional Practitioners, whose patron is Charles the Prince of Wales. Dr. Salingaros is professor of mathematics at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and is also on the architecture faculties of the University of Rome III and the Delft University of Technology. Dr. Salingaros is directing students’ theses at universities around the world, and is involved as a consultant on architectural and urban projects. He is consultant to the Schools of Architecture of the Catholic University of Portugal, Viseu, and the Tecnológico de Monterrey, Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico. He is respected for providing a powerful boost for traditional architecture and urbanism as exemplified by the work of Léon Krier and others, while connecting it to the very different, complementary contributions of Christopher Alexander. To some, Dr. Salingaros’ role is to be the theoretician of a loosely-defined but determined group of new architects who wish to reconnect humanity with so much that was lost in the twentieth century.


education Within the ISB mission, education and dissemination of information about relevance. Epistemological awareness adds up to our technical courses on

lectures - SEMINARIES - WORKSHOPS ISB workshops are designed to develop critical thinking skills and to explore new ideas in an environment that encourages intensive discussion.

Members benefit from knowledge, tips, and practical exercises. These are designed to help achieve academic success, inspire an interdisciplinary approach, and deliver a formative experience.


paradigm and mindset shift in architecture and city planning are of utmost traditional and innovative tools in both urban and architectural design.

summer school Each year we expect to accommodate 25 students and professionals of different backgrounds who are keen to develop their interest in biourbanism. This residential course is aimed at developing participants’ competences in a new field of practice and research, with relevant professional opportunities.

Biourbanism • Environmental Psychology Neurophysiology and Design • Patterns In Physics • Biology Algorithmic Sustainable Design • Evidence-Based Design Placemaking • Service Design For Cities • Biourban Acupuncture GOAL Authentic sustainable design must deal with technical solutions and with functional and restorative connections to the human neurophysiological system. Psychology and health-studies show how space design can nurture or damage our personal and social well-being. Scientific knowledge of how human neurophysiology reacts to the organization and to the shapes of space is the first step for producing sustainable new designs for the 21st century. TEACHING METHODOLOGY Daily lectures will be accompanied by practical experiences including: drawing sessions, guided site visits to important landmarks, as well as perceptive and psychometric exercises. Time will be devoted to enhancing participants’ innate abilities: to study how the environment affects human beings, to analyze the relationship between mimesis and creativity, and to employ it in producing wellness-eliciting design. Fundamentals of neurology, environmental psychology, sociology, architecture and art related to the topics will be provided.


How can we transform a dead space into a place that works? How can we life; a neighbourhood more attractive and pleasant; an urban area more alive; beautiful, and authentic? The school is held in Artena (Rome), Italy, a beautiful and picturesque little town dating back to the 13th century. This is a perfect place to visit the fascinating surrounding area, with historical towns such as Palestrina, Segni, Anagni, Sermoneta, Norma, and many gorgeous natural habitats. It is located just 40 minutes from Rome (both by train or car). The climate is mild, making summer very pleasant.

Students will be accommodated in the typical houses of the old village centre. Our studio will be based at a historical building. The meals will be provided at a typical “cantina�.


make our environment sensibly better; a building more suitable for human and finally – using an approach of urban acupuncture – a city more vibrant, The course focuses on place and aims at exploring our inner bodily resonance with truly vital architecture and urban land structures. It relates to the fields of neuroergonomics, biourban acupuncture, sociogenetic design, placemaking, and algorithmic sustainable design.

This immersion course is aimed at architects, designers, engineers, psychologists, social scientists, and policy makers who are interested in how design affects the neurophysiological system in order to produce more pleasant and well working objects, buildings, and environments.


biourbanism Biourbanism focuses on the urban realm as organism. Considering it a hypercomplex system according to its internal and external dynamics and their mutual interactions.

what IS biourbanism? Biourbanism is a concept which brings together the fields of urbanism and biology. Through this we attempt to understand how urban structures can be formed according to natural patterns as a way of increasing quality of life. The urban body is composed of several interconnected layers of dynamic structure, all influencing each other in a non-linear manner. This interaction results in emergent properties, which are not predictable except through a dynamical analysis of the connected whole. This approach therefore links biourbanism to the life sciences, and to integrated systems sciences like statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, operations research, and ecology in an essential manner. The similarity of approaches lies not only in the common methodology, but also in the content of the results (hence the prefix “bio”) because the city represents the living environment of the human species. Biourbanism recognizes “optimal forms” defined at different scales (from the purely physiological up to the ecological levels) which, through morphogenetic processes, guarantee an optimum of systemic efficiency and for the quality of life of the inhabitants. A design that does not follow these laws produces anti-natural, hostile environments that do not fit into an individual’s evolution and thus fail to enhance life in any way.

what do we study? We look at laws of form, systems theory, selforganization, and constructal law along with the latest advancement in neurophysiology and biology which have radically changed our approach to the study of how human beings interact with their environment. Organisms, computer programs, buildings, neighborhoods, and cities share the same general rules governing complex hierarchical systems. All matter – biological as well as inanimate – organizes itself into coherent structures. The human mind has evolved in order to adapt to complex patterns in the natural world, so the patterns we perceive around us influence our internal function as human beings. This is of the utmost importance for designing our built environment.


research Our goal is a human-oriented design that matches the best qualities of the architecture and the urban planning of the past and the present, grounds design on a wide scientific and epistemological vision, and finds a humancentered path to the built environment of the future.

biophilia and neuroergonomics Biophilia is the innately emotional affiliation of human beings towards other living organisms. Biophilic architecture is capable of supplying our inborn need of a connection to life and to vital processes. The biophilic space is an environment that strengthens life and supports its sociological and psychological components, and is in fact able to support our cognitive system.

Stemmed from the evidence-based design, neuroergonomics merges neuroscience and ergonomics in order to match design with human biological and psycho-neuro-immunological wellness. It scientifically upholds the search for a human-centered design by overhauling the user experience design, because it measures the real psycho-physical effects regardless of fashion, ideology, culture, or use.

sociogenESIS Sociogenesis is a word derived from the Greek, meaning “the generation of the society�. The socio-generative design aims at raising, developing, and facilitating the social relations between people according to their own specific dynamics, through architectural, urban, organizational, economic, and educational interventions. These interventions focus on relations. The socio-generative design is particularly complex and sensitive. It requires multi-disciplinary contributions on the one hand, and the active participation of the community on the other one. As such, the process is itself socio-generative, and an integral part of the subject. The project will have a dynamic character, because sociogenesis cannot stop. Like a living body it is constantly adapting to changes. The product of the socio-generative design is therefore a system, not merely a structure. It includes a procedural homeostatic flow , an adaptive attitude, and a constant transformation / processing (both physical and cognitive ) of the place and of its affordances .

Fractals in typical Ethiopian village architecture.


social design Socio-generative design (or sociogenetic design) evaluates first the current aid in forming that social output. This helps designing so to reinforce the

progetto artena “Progetto Artena” kicked off in 2012 is a service involving analysis, strategy, and action for the revival of the village of Artena (Rome). It works at both the structural and infrastructural level regarding several aspects, from social innovation to architectural regeneration. “Progetto Artena” is the first application of the principles of biourbanism in order to design for social change. At the same time, it’s a way of prototyping a new model of the development process for Italy. The entire project works through maieutic participation. It achieves its goal through sub-projects, which also financially support the initiative. The project aims to design the physical, virtual, and socio-economic space of the city, believing that every space has bio-political value.

progetto LEPUS “Progetto Lepus” strategic revitalization design shifts from the urban level to the district one. It connects formal and informal networks actually operating in the area, in order to put them at work together in a systemic way. “Progetto Lepus” is a case study managed in collaboration with the Comunità Montana dei Monti Lepini, formed by the cities of Segni, Artena, Gorga, Montelanico, and Carpineto Romano. The project goal is to explore a best practice to be applied to the whole Italian province.


social output of a space and helps to understand which elements in the place elements offering beneficial effects on human relations.

sIGNIA PROJECT The “Signia Project” is devoted to studying one of the most ancient cities of Italy, Segni (founded on the 7th century B.C.), and making it more resilient and vital. Within it, “Segni Seed” has some of population’s inner drives like creative will for change, but also jealousy, and how they can be connected to work together. The analysis has been carried out by a team of international experts during a seven days explorative laboratory. They disclosed some possible change actions, that are able to pay back common advantages to all the stakeholders. This in turn helped experimenting a prototype of strategic guidance for small towns. The analysis has focused on development potentialities, internal conflicts, and the causes of the lack of communication between people and the city administration. The following step deals with the development of the local tourism. “Signia Turismo” enhances the acknowledgment of local values, beauty, history, and products, and offers courses and services in tourism management and tourism marketing.

progetto leO Based on a peer-to-peer philosophy, “Progetto Leo” addresses the people of Carpineto Romano and especially local tourism professionals and unemployed young people with such technical skills and/or creative abilities as: tourism, programming, marketing, PR, sociology, design, architecture, management, business administration, writing, art, and handcraft. Among its targets: local knowledge and traditional craftsmanship (breeding, agriculture, dairy farming, dressmaking, etc.); computer skills (software and web design); business, retailing, and promotion skills (PR, social media); financing and strategy; events and culture; accessibility and dual re-use of places. Goals • a platform able to kick-start connections and experiences’ networking, e.g. professional training classes and co-working and co-learning spaces; • prototyping business models fitting small towns, namely Carpineto Romano and its surroundings; • instantiating a local-oriented, open-source, productive, social, and efficient 3.0 economic system; • reuse and reassessment of the urban and architectural heritage of Carpineto Romano.


PARACITY Paracity is a biourban organism growing already as a pilot project on an urban farming island of the Danshui river, Taipei City, Taiwan, on the principles of Open Form: individual design-build actions generating spontaneous communicative reactions on the surrounding built human environment. This organic constructivist dialog leads into self-organized community structures, development, and knowledge building.

Paracity is based on a 3D wooden primary structure, an organic grid with spatial modules of 6x6x6 meters constructed out of CLT crosslaminated timber sticks. This simple structure can be modified and grown by the community members working as a team (p2p biourbanism) or by an assigned Paracity constructor. The primary structure can grow even on neglected urban areas, such as river flood plains, hillsides, abandoned industrial areas, storm water channels, or slums. Paracity suites perfectly to flooding and tsunami risk areas and the CLT primary structure has a high standard of earthquake performance. The main energy source for the Paracity is bio-energy, especially biomass. Based on free flowing, the paracity stands on stilts, thus providing the whole ground floor for community actions and nature. Casagrande Laboratory, Centre of Urban Research / Paracity: Marco Casagrande, Menno Cramer, Katie Donaghy, Niilo Tenkanen, Nikita Wu, Joni Virkki, Ycy Charlie, Sauli Ylinen.


BIOURBANISM OF MONOTOWNS The Kazakh-Italian Association for the Biourbanism of Monotowns has been established in 2014 by the T. Ryskulov Kazakh Economic University (Almaty), the International Society of Biourbanism, and the economics study network “Ricerca senza frontiere / Исследования без границ” (Rome, Moscow). Its main goal is enhancing the quality of life and the social resilience of industrialized and top-down designed cities, like Kazakhstan monotowns. The Association seeks to compare the urban heritage and traditions of Italy and Kazakhstan. Both urban communities can learn from each other how to improve a life-centered resilience, and provide new biourban horizons after the end of the industrial age.

Social, economic, and urban projects and researches will be built on the biourban and viable service systems approach. Interdisciplinary cultural exchanges will be constantly run as a framework for onthe-ground analysis, implementations, and experimental projects in Kazakhstan and Italy. This setup will include the use of urban planning, biourban acupuncture, service design and small scale viable economics. Subjects: biourban resilience, sociogenesis, urban agriculture, viable systems, biophilic design, intercultural tourism, local marketing.


services Selected ISB members have committed to offer their services for the development of cities and communities to increase quality of life. Through our consultancy service we can review your plans and advise you on how to improve them. Choosing a consultant gives you access to the academic knowledge base of the ISB and many international examples and case studies to provide an all round analysis and fitting design solutions.

Urban and territorial analysis Bringing together urban and territorial data in order to present an all round analysis. This process will aid in developing an accurate basis for understanding the structure and functioning of a demarcated area you are working with.

SERVICE DESIGN By considering the city as a services provider we analyze how to improve such a providing process, making it more effective. The main tool used to achieve this goal is design thinking, that allow to shed light on a concrete vision about the future of the city, and the practical way to make it more viable. Final purpose is strengthening human capital, life’s quality, and urban resilience.

URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING Urban and regional planning and design are crucial for making a resilient future. Design must fit goals, needs, and vision of the community. Our approach analyzes and integrates the diverse instances like social, environmental, economical and well-being ones in a self-reinforcing system. Our dynamic and effective planning tools produce long-lasting results, and structurally sustainable projects that fit and enhance the life of place.

URBAN RENEWAL Every city has taken time to form over the years. In order to grow with its inhabitants a city must also consider its urban renewal according to its heritage and current formation. We will analyze the city as it stands and look at how it has developed over the years in order to understand specific points for urban renewal. We will then analyze how the integration of new will impact the old, and how these structures can coexist.

BIOURBAN ACUPUNCTURE Biourban acupuncture looks at the city to indentify crucial hotspots. These hotspots will then serve as points of influence through a change in systems. This change can take any form from an architectural structure to a socio-cultural innovation. By pinpointing these crucial hotspots in a city we put disconnected urban life streams again in connection, thus reinforcing the whole biourban system. Results are a reinforced social resilience, and a better quality of life.


Socio-generative design (or sociogenetic design) evaluates first the current social output of a space and helps to understand which elements in the place aid in forming that social output. This helps designing so to reinforce the elements offering beneficial effects on human relations.

tools Our consultants use tools taken from both academic research and practical experience, in order to form the basis for a systematic analysis of our built environment.

biophilic design Biophilic design is about nature-resonating features in architecture and the built environment, in order to provide a more sustainable, economic resilient, and healthy future for your city.

PEER2PEER URBANISM P2P Urbanism is participatory urban planning powered by people. It is meant to design, construct, and repair the city in a way that anyone may choose, participate, share, and modify theories, methods, and implementation technologies at any one time. P2P urbanism is “open source urbanism”, by the people, for the people.

PLACEMAKING Placemaking is aimed at transforming shared spaces in order to facilitate social interaction and enhance the city’s quality of life. It supports community’ health and safety, by bringing beauty, delightfulness and attractiveness into places. This in turn generates a feeling of belonging and care. Placemaking operates at local level. It catalyzes the economical and social development of the city.

DESIGN THINKING Design thinking is an analysis tool which is used to evaluate a problem and the potential socio-economic and political effects of a design. This can be used during different project stages, or even after completion. The recommendations design thinking can offer are crucial for a place to succeed.

BOTTOM-UP STRATEGIC DESIGN Bottom-up strategic design involves communities in taking vital decisions for their life, and facilitate administrations to carry on successful practices and urban policies. We stimulate, share, discuss and analyze a public interest’s vision to inform design decisions. This enhances the community spirit as well as the outcome of the design, as it creates co-dependencies and social responsibility amongst the inhabitants.

Geographic Information System (GIS) GIS is a tool used in urban planning and design in order to gather and provide data relevant to development briefs and projects, also helping decisional processes.


publications Disseminating an international cultural debate and improving a multidisciplinary

journal of biourbanism BIannual open access journal Online ISSN: 2240-2535 The purpose of the journal is to establish a bridge between theory and practice in the fields of architecture, design research, urban planning, the built environment and social studies. It reports on the latest research and innovative approaches for creating responsive environments, with special emphasis on human aspects as a central issue of urban study and architecture. Articles are double-blind peer reviewed according to scientific standards. JBU is open access and contributions are published for free. Submissions to the scientific committee:

bookS T.M. Vinod Kumar (ed), Geographic Information Systems for Smart Cities. Ghaziabad-London: Copal Publishing, 2014 - ISBN: 9788192473352 Marco Casagrande, Biourban Acupuncture. Treasure Hill of Taipei to Artena. Rome: ISB, 2013 - ISBN:9788890892318 Antonio Caperna et Al. (eds), Partecipazione e ICT. Rome: Gangemi, 2013 - ISBN:9788849275360


understanding of architecture and urbanism.

documentary films A. Centofanti, G. Lattanzi, Regeneration City. Peleo Film, 2014 A. Centofanti, G. Lattanzi, Walking Through the Borgo. Peleo Film, 2013


join ISB Becoming a member of the ISB allows you to take part in an inspiring and dynamic community. ISB members are professionals, alumni, students, researchers, and academics from a variety of fields with a common interest in biophilic architecture and urbanism.

ISB membership develops as you progress through your studies and subsequent career by providing access to ground breaking research studies and activities, continuing professional development, and a growing worldwide network of passionate designers and scholars.

membership benefits When you join ISB, you join a community of people who have made a personal commitment to creating better places. You become part of and contribute to exciting projects for bringing more life into the human environment, such as: Paracity, Progetto Artena, Progetto Leo, and many others. This gives you a unique opportunity for scientific, professional, and personal growth by cooperating with world wide peers, labs, and institutions sharing the same ideal. This is the way of getting in touch with the urban design of the future. ISB membership includes opportunities of practice and education through conferences, courses, workshops, and summer schools that focus on cutting-edge topics like evidence-based design, neuroergonomics, biophilic design, socio-genesis, third generation city, and algorithmic sustainable design. Members receive the biannual peer-reviewed Journal of Biourbanism (JBU) and the e-newsletter ISB News which keeps them up-to-date with association news, benefits, opportunities and links to interesting and useful resources. ISB members get a substantial discount on registrations for leading educational and networking events by both ISB and its partners: C-Lab (Taiwan, Finland), PSP (Italy), BERG (United Kingdom).


members OFFICERS Nikos A. Salingaros Honorary President Antonio Caperna President Marco Casagrande Vice President Stefano Serafini General Secretary & Research director OPERATIVE TEAM Angelo Abbate, architect, Italy Milena Clausi, urban planner, Italy Menno Cramer, neuroscience & design consultant, The Netherlands Katie Donaghy, urban sociologist, France Angelica Fortuzzi, architect, Italy Francesco Letteriello, urban planner, Italy Guglielmo Minervino, urban planner, Italy Elena Repman, economist, Russian Federation Cecilia Rossing, civil engineer and architect, Sweden Nissa Shahid, spatial planner and urban designer, Great Britain Eleni Tracada, architect, Great Britain SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE Mary Anne Akers, Morgan State University, USA Michael Batty, University College London, Great Britain Michel Bauwens, Chiang Mai University, Thailand Adrian Bejan, Duke University, USA Mariano Bizzarri, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy Harald Bodenschatz, Technical University Berlin, Germany Maria Bostenaru, Ion Mincu University, Romania Alessandro BusĂ , Technical University Berlin, Germany Jaap Dawson, Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands Carlos Gershenson, University of Mexico, Mexico Alessandro Giangrande, Roma Tre University, Italy Svetlana K. Gural, Tomsk State University, Russian Federation Besim Hakim, American Institute of Certified Planners, USA Sergey N. Kharlamov, Tomsk Polytechnic University, Russian Federation Robert J. Koester, Ball State University, USA Sylvie R. Lorente, Duke University, USA Leonardo Marotta, Iuav University Venice, Italy Michael W. Mehaffy, Centre for Environmental Structure, Europe Elena Mortola, Roma Tre University, Italy Achille Paolone, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy Juval Portugali, Tel Aviv University, Israel Yodan RofĂŠ, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel Ashraf M. Salama, Qatar University, Qatar Giuseppe Sermonti, University of Perugia, Italy Fabrizio Vescovo, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy Khaldoun Zreik, University Paris 8, France Luisa Bravo, University of Bologna, Italy


contact International Society of Biourbanism SocietĂ Internazionale di Biourbanistica Via Giovanni Giardini, 15b 00133 Rome, Italy biourbanism progettoartena


@biourbanism @biourbanistica biourbanism


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