Solving Cities

Video: A city that grows like a living thing

Video: A city that grows like a living thing

Posting in Cities

Lilium Urbanus is an award-winning animation depicting the growth of a city from a single seed

Lilium Urbanus from Joji Tsuruga on Vimeo.

Lilium Urbanus isn't new, but not enough people have seen it. On the one hand, it's a straightforward meditation on the fact that the growth of cities has something in common with the growth of all natural (and especially living) objects. As the video's creators told Carin Bondar of Scientific American:

"Living in NYC is our biggest inspiration. There’s constant construction and change on every corner. We embraced the idea of urban growth and saw it as something uncontrollable, having a mind of its own."

On the other hand, Lilium Urbanus raises questions that the 21st century is likely to answer in ways that are significant for all of us: If cities live, can they also die? Can they be reborn? How do they evolve? And if they are natural objects, are there ways we can encourage their growth or restructuring that respect the needs of the living things that inhabit them?

[via Scientific American]

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Christopher Mims

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Christopher Mims has written for Scientific American, WIRED, Popular Science, Fast Company, Good, Discover, Slate, Technology Review, Nature and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University. Formerly, he was an editor at Scientific American, Grist and Seed. He is based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure