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Hearts, cells and mud: how biology helps humans re-imagine our cities in vexed times

By Marco Amati, Associate Professor of International Planning, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University
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Biological metaphors for the city abound in daily use. You may live close to an “arterial” road or in the “heart” of a metropolis. You may work in one of the city’s “nerve centres” or exercise in a park described as the city’s “lungs”.

The ready use of such metaphors indicates an underlying naturalism in our thinking about the city. Naturalism is a belief that a single theory unites natural and social systems.

Historically, this way of thinking has helped us grapple with the complex urban predicaments. Today, as the world’s cities face new problems, fresh urban visions are…The Conversation

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