In 1963, Constantinos Doxiadis, Buckminster Fuller and Marshall Mc Luhan signed, among others, the little known “Delos Declaration,” which alerted the world that the “problem of expanding urban area may soon outstrip all other problems facing mankind, except that of nuclear war.” In the year 2016, it is clear to most that the “urban meltdown” has indeed outstripped “all other problems facing mankind, ‘including’ the possibility of nuclear war” and the reality of the financial meltdown, of which it is a direct result and from which there is no U-turn. How can we assure that modern cities develop a regenerative relationship to the living world on whose health they ultimately depend?
The current scenario is dominated by the Redundant City whose march cannot be stopped ex-ante, an option not available anymore. What is available are “urban adjustments” that, while staying clear of Renzo Piano’s misguided (and falsely politically correct) rhetoric of urban mending, have a shot at trying to restore a sense of urbanity or “cityness” to constantly growing, shapeless conurbations. “Urban Hacking” argues for a fundamental conceptual shift in the way we organize our urban systems, and for thinking and acting beyond what is considered “sustainable” development. Urban Hacking aims at establishing a healthier relationship between Natur and Kultur. The theory does not rule out radical thinking and in fact sponsors a new attitude towards urban matter based on little talked about modus operandi like demolition, recycling, multi-scaling and urban hacking.
Urban Hacking is identified as a necessary vehicle to set in motion an operative mood that may eventually lead to a Dörfer-Großstadt (metropolis of villages), namely an adjustable planning concept to counter the various redundancies of our time.