Forum 2016 - Infrastructure Space - Detroit (Ruby Press)

229 228 doi:10.1016/S0038-092X(00)00069-4; P. Droege, “Renewable Energy and the City: Urban Life in an Age of Fossil Fuel Depletion and Climate Change,” Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society 22, no. 2 (2002): 87–99, doi:10.1177/02704676 02022002003; Thomas Herzog, Norbert Kaiser, and Michael Volz, Solar Energy in Architecture and Urban Planning (Munich: Prestel, 1996). 3. Alexander J. Boelen and Taeke M. de Jong, Ontwerp-ingrepen op de hectare en hun energie-effect (Delft: Technische Universiteit Delft, Faculteit der Bouw- kunde, 1995); T. Elkin, D. McLaren, and M. Hillman, Reviving the City: Towards Sustainable Urban Development (London: Friends of the Earth, 1991); H. Frey, De- signing the City: Towards a More Sustain- able Urban Form (London: E & FN Spon, 1999). 4. J. Benner, Energietransitie begint in de regio: Rotterdam , Texel en Energy Valley onder de loep (The Hague: Rahtenau Instituut, 2009); Michael Narodoslawsky and Gernot Stoeglehner, “Planning for Local and Regional Energy Strategies with the Ecological Footprint,” Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning 12, no. 4 (2010): 363–79, doi:10.1080/15239 08X.2010.528885; Philipp Späth and Harald Rohracher, “‘Energy Regions’: The Transformative Power of Regional Dis- courses on Socio-technical Futures,” Re- search Policy 39, no. 4 (2010): 449–58, doi:10.1016/j.respol.2010.01.017; Petra Wächter, Michael Ornetzeder, Harald Rohracher, Anna Schreuer, and Markus Knoflacher, “Towards a Sustainable Spa- tial Organization of the Energy System: Backcasting Experiences from Austria,” Sustainability 4, no. 2 (2012): 193–209, doi:10.3390/su4020193. 5. Bernard C. Patten, “Systems Approach to the Concept of Environment,” Ohio Journal of Science 78, no. 4 (1978): 206. 6. In Patten’s system approach theory, he conceptualized a “system” as part of larger “supersystems,” while at the same time consisting of various “subsystems.” This model is referred to as “triadic struc- ture.” 7. Max Blatter, Geografie der erneuerbaren Energien (Münchenstein: Energie-Atlas GmbH, 2006). 8. COROP stands for COördinatie commis- sie Regionaal Onderzoeks Programma (Coordinating commission for the regional research program). What if “planetary urbanization” does not simply describe processes that operate at the scale of the planet and instead, contemporary modes of urbanization have no scale? What if to understand a “planetary” ontology is to understand one that eludes scale altogether? Ross Exo Adams reflects upon how we can experience the planetary without a map of the world. “Planetary” would perhaps be best understood as a signifier for the scale less —a name for the growing sensibility of a world that sees scalar difference as a matter of technologi- cal overcoming; a condition whose exploration I hope will broaden our understanding of contemporary forms of urbanization by exposing their uniquely political resolution. In doing so, we stand not only to gain more in- sight into precisely what urbanization itself consists of, but we may also be better able to strategize contemporary practices of resistance to it: Living in a time of planetary urbanization, how can we begin to formulate effective responses to something that, through its predominantly cartographic optic, may give the appearance of a plane- tary totality, inaccessible to human agency? Research on the urban, both historically and in its present moda- lities, points not only to its constant expansion across scales, but to the ways in which scale itself may per- haps be a tenuous concept by which to reliably assess urbanization 1 , just as it has proven for grasping many other spatiotemporal phenomena today (ecology, cybernetics, geopolitics, etc.). 2 My contention is that “planetary” is not a scale, nor even a particularly emergent discursive notion, as we may tend to think. Our use and cons- ciousness of it today may instead be a confirmation of an epistemological ho- rizon that has been quietly taking form over the last two centuries, and whose truths, objects, and relations derive from even more distant referents. Pla- netary, perhaps more than a particular scalar octave, may be better under- stood as the signature of a trans- or even non-scalar ontology characte- ristic of our present epistemological horizon. Here, we encounter ques- tions such as: At what scale can we measure, experience, or know climate change? At what scale does contem- porary warfare take place? Has neoli- beral economics not reduced scale to something of an opportunistic, floating signifier? And what of urbanization today? Such a suggestion entails a dif- ferent way of seeing the urban, less concerned with registering its effects On Scaleless Urbanization: Cybernetic Infrastructures, Resilient Design and the Becoming of Planetary Space Ross Exo Adams What if “planetary urbanization” does not simply describe processes that operate at the scale of the planet and, instead, contemporary modes of urbanization hav no scale? What if to understand a “planetary” ontology is to understand one that eludes scale altogether? Ross Exo Adams reflects upon how we can experience the planetary without a map of the world.

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