Worlds of Planetary Urbanization proposes a radical rethinking of our understanding of the contemporary urban world. This project explores interdependencies—between agglomerations and hinterlands; political-economic and biogeophysical processes; and local, national and global scales—in order to stimulate reflection on “living together” under conditions of planetary urbanisation. We have collaborated with Urban Theory Lab-Chicago and researchers from ETH Zurich and FCL Singapore in a project for 17th International Architecture Exhibition—La Biennale di Venezia, curated by Hashim Sarkis.
The Urban Theory Lab contribution presents a series of digital globes that reveal disparate visions of an urbanised planet. ETH Zurich D-ARCH and FCL Singapore team explore urbanisation processes unfolding far beyond the realm of agglomerations, urban and mega city-regions. Through research essays, photographs, and cartographic work by Philippe Rekacewicz, the unprecedented patterns and pathways of extended urbanisation are portrayed in six world regions: Eastern Amazonia (Brazil), Arcadia (Greece), Dongguan (China), the West African Corridor (Benin), the North Sea, and the Midwest Corn Belt (USA). The exhibit highlights the urgency of formulating new theoretical and cartographic perspectives on urbanisation, animated by the goal of envisioning a more socially and environmentally just world.