CITIES
AS SYSTEMS

Client: Arup
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Project timeline: 2013
Services provided: Keynote
How might things be different if we took a systems view of how a city operates? What happens if we challenge the assumptions that underpin the way we live?

For consulting firm Arup’s Shaping our Cities forum, Andrew Wisdom framed the discussion around a Systems view of Cities.

Andrew invited the audience to reflect on how they might think and act differently if they challenged some assumptions about the environment they live in. To illustrate the importance of dominant paradigms, Andrew explored the power of organisational models and measures of success in driving action and policy, and he touched on preconceptions about public safety and gun ownership, which were in the news at that time.

Andrew challenged the robustness of the idea that people inevitably consume more than they create and invited the question: What would a city look like if we created more than we consumed? He then tackled the health model of minimising illness and invited the audience to think about how an approach in which we sought to maximise wellness, could lead to a completely different set of policy and implementation outcomes.