In the last decade the concept of the city as a human habitat that is mapped in terms of bricks and mortar, managed by fiat from city hall and developed by entrepreneurs for corporate profit has given faint signals of change. This has happened because we have witnessed the city collapse underneath the weight of its own failing infrastructure; and/or because of hyper-in-migration; and/or because of natural forces that have plunged the highest capacities of urban life beneath earth, water and fire storm.

The faint signals of re-imagining the city, in the next decade, arise from those who recognize it as the most complex human system ever created – and one that deserves to be respected and honoured for the living system it is. The city is a social holon, like a human hive, where each person experiences life through individual exteriors like body, brain and behaviours and collective exteriors like systems, structures and infrastructures. In addition, and more importantly for the next decade, the city resonates with the individual interiors of intention, inspiration and imagination and the collective interiors of values, visions and cultural vitality.

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Thanks Frank Spencer for the invitation to contribute to Emerging Cityscapes.