Dumb cities

Amy Flemming makes a case in The Guardian for cities to embrace an anthropological approach to planning that works with nature, instead of embracing smart systems. She sites Julia Watson’s book Lo-Tek: Design by Radical Indigenism as a guide to ancient habitation solutions to modern environments – as sponge cities architect Kongjian Yu comments: “Ancient wisdom tells us how to live with nature in a smart way.” Examples include the Zuni people in New Mexico, who create waffle gardens to capture, store and manipulate water for desert crop farming and the Khasi hill tribe in Northern India whose living tree-root bridges can withstand monsoon better than any human-made structure. Watson notes that nature-based technologies such as these could be explored for urban use – the living-root bridges could be grown to reduce the urban heat island effect by increasing canopy cover for example.

Read the full article at bit.ly/AFlemming

To order Julia Watson’s Lo-Tek: Design by Radical Indigenism, visit bit.ly/LoTek

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