“Force Field,” a New Metaphor for City Sustainability
30 Jun 2020 - Lausanne
The lack of methodology to collaborate over sustainable urban development limits our capacity to find solutions that could save millions of human lives as well as millions of animal and vegetal species. Over the past twenty years, inter- and transdisciplinary collaborations have provided the most effective and impactful approaches to increase the sustainability of urban environments. In order to foster these collaborations, researchers, policy-makers and practitioners must define a common lexicon. The necessity to rely on common ground concepts and ideas also makes research more permeable to citizen participation.
Here, we suggest relying on metaphors as ways to create collaborative synergies that foster the development of scientifically sound, politically acceptable, and operationable solutions to increase the sustainability of urban environments. Using metaphors not only help creating overlaps in various types of knowledge, it also fosters the hybridization of scientific, technical and operational know-how. Moreover, metaphors encourage the contribution of citizens in both the scientific process and the operationalization of planning strategies. Hence, we argue that metaphors provide a powerful and potent methodology to limit the disastrous consequences of unsustainable urban development.
This workshop was organized by EPFL laboratory for Human-Environment Relations in Urban Systems (HERUS).