Homo Urbanis

By Cipriano Navarro.

Entities that inhabit the city,

I want to start my role in this blog, inviting you to reflect on a man’s status which we are not fully aware, this will start with the question: What is man’s habitat?

The man with thousands of years on earth has witnessed and made great changes, as a species it has spread across the globe and has left an unmatched mark, more specifically he created for himself the conditions necessary to live, reproduce and perpetuation as a specie, creating his own habitat. The city.

Of all the inventions of man “The City” is way long my favorite, we’ve been welcomed in it as a child in the heart of his mother, getting protection from wild nature, by this time the man has already broken the balance between living “rural” and those living in “urban”, a threshold broken in Mexico in the early 60’s.

Our tradition as urban entities have traces of over 10,000 years, with the settlements in the Middle East, between the Tigris and Euphrates, after a long history full of cities that come and go, we come to the present day and having more than 50% of the world’s population under the shelter of a city, is in this environment where we find the greatest wealth but also greatest poverty that has known the man.

We are no longer native to the tundra, jungle, forest, savannah or desert, we have created our own environment from our needs, the urban environment, we breathe by inhaling fumes of our factories, to distinguish the scent of urine in crowded colonies of historic centers, we listen to feel the buzz of a public square, traffic noise, we see dark alleys in our paths, to observe large areas as self monochromatic settlement building our cities. The city is around us.

We are not the only ones who have moved our way of life to urban, the flora and fauna, wild and domestic, are behind us. To think that cities would stop expanding the world is quite a kindhearted innocence, the era of “homo sapiens” is over and “homo urbanism” (if I may baptize) has entered the scene and his work will be tough with nature, and from those who try to antagonize it has little chance against the will of man for having comfort, shelter and sustenance.

I know form a good source, as the city itself has told me, their growth is imminent, constant, unstoppable, limitless?

I do not know, comes to my mind the imagery of Coruscant (pronounced Corrussant) the “city planet” the scenario of the Jedi Order extermination at the hands of automated clones in the Star Wars saga, or Apokolips another huge city planet full of blazing fire pits, home of Darkseid, Superman’s archenemy created for the universe of DC Comics.

Maybe one day we get to those extremes, to turn the world into a ecumenopolis, (term created by architect and city planner Constantinos Doxiadis in the early 60’s to describe the imaginary of a global megalopolis) we will inhabit a city planet … or rather a world city.

Yours truly,

Cipriano Navarro (@URBNSM / @esecipri)


2 comentarios

  • Brian O'Connor 8 months ago Reply

    Hola! I am Brian, a friend of Miguel’s. I worked in Washington D.C. I very much enjoy your post. The writing evokes thought and feeling — while I find the prospect of a megalopolis that would cover a planet intriguing, I also find it daunting. I agree, the city is often lauded as the pinnacle of human achievement, and folly. Early writers like Plato, and St. Thomas Aquinas wrote about the virtues and vice of man, as represented through the city.

    I grew up in a place more cultivated than natural, but often I would go hiking or adventuring away from suburbia. You are correct that cities, and the urban sprawl that come with them are man’s habitat. However, it is from nature that we came — and upon natural elements we depend for the resources to upkeep modern society. I contend that striking a balance between nature and city is essential in the world. Large cities, and expansive wilderness both serve man well. A proper city of course includes parks, and buildings with green rooftops, but these features only provide the illusion of a truly natural setting. Indeed, urbanization is a powerful driver towards greater development, but nature provides the untainted essentials we need to live, and a place to escape from the sound and smog of the city.

    You have said “the era of ‘homo sapiens’ is over and ‘homo urbanism’ has entered the scene.” You are correct, over half the world’s population now lives in cities, and urbanization is predicted to increase. However I am concerned with your new term for this reason: the “sapien” from homo sapiens comes from the Latin word for ‘wise, and tasteful’. The city is a product of man’s wisdom. Let us not become unwise, and embrace the city without regard for our original habitat, which we will always rely upon.

  • esecipri 8 months ago Reply

    Dear, Brian, thanks for your comment.
    I hope man wont forget his pure source, the nature. But doing maths, basic maths, as you already know, more people live in cities than in the wild, that’s all.

    So now on humans live in cities, born in cities, grow up in cities, and do everything in cities (even when we need the wilderness to get resources), so are we wild? or urban? we are the very few being who can make our own environment, sadly it is not the best one right now, it a little bit away from nature, I wish (as I think you also do) that human specie make a mix between nature and urban into a better version of the cities for the future, but that thing its something really hard and sadly we won’t see the future of it, if becomes a green city or a total urban planet in the next 100 years.

    In human history, every time we face a crisis, a new city model is born, after the fall of rome, after the WW2 are examples of new models or ways fo buildings cities that have come up, right now or very very soon we are facing another crisis, with nature, so it is the time to get a new city model for the next years.

    Thanks again for your comments and lets keep this blog “brainstorming” us.
    Yours truly, a urban human being.