Urban Nomads: Re-mixing the Demography of the City


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Cities, nowadays, are scene of a fierce competition among citizens for resources. And as usual the rich and powerful have better access to jobs, amenities and facilities, even to natural features like micro-climate zones within metropolitan areas. This sort of inequality has been accompanied with urbanism for such a long time that even it has been manifested in settlement patterns of the city. Rich are usually living in the north, while south us home to poor and center is occupied with business and industry and agriculture roam the perimeter.
It seems that we are bounded to these fixed patterns, and so does the efficiency of our cities. But for thousand years, human race had a more flexible way of living: Nomadism. The nomads travelled in order to have better access to resources, be it jobs, food or better climate. They invented kinds of mobile shelter and adapted a very flexible life style. They also developed a system of prediction and planning, upon the result of which they each time chose the destination, the trail and the how-to of their seasonal immigrations.
Nowadays, metropolitan areas has become so vast that they contain several distinctive zones of settlement, work and even various micro-climates. This variety offers a lot of dynamics yet we are stuck to our fixed homes, workplaces and lifestyles. And in this manner we impose a lot of costs to our cities and to ourselves. What if we could live like an urban nomad, a wanderer inside the city walls?
In this presentation I propose inner city migration and Nomadism as a way to cope with serious lack of resources in our urban areas. I’ll try to study both Bedouins and modern urban nomads, and assessing the advantages and obstacles of moving toward nomadic lifestyle, whether remixing the demography of our cities, and not their physical features, could improve our living conditions?

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Urban Nomads: Re-mixing the Demography of the City

  1. 1. Urban NomadsRemixing the Demography of the City Ehsan Bazafkan
  2. 2. Before Introduction!• Urban Nomads? Really?!• I want to present a VISION, not an idea, not a theory or a scientifically proven model
  3. 3. IntroductionWhy should we talk about Urban Nomads?
  4. 4. A little History “With the grace of god almighty, And the pressure of marketplaceHumankind has urbanized himself!!!” … but our cities are … Problematic!
  5. 5. Problem!Most important deficiencies with our cities: • Expensive to manage • Lack of viable resources • Severe inequality • A burden to environment • Not FUN!
  6. 6. Why? “my opinion” FIXATION! Distance! Price!Distribution or Connection!
  7. 7. So What?! Radicalizing our lifestyleSticking to a location is not the only available solution! We have more sustainable options: Nomadism
  8. 8. So What?! Radicalizing our lifestyleSticking to a location is not the only available solution! We have more sustainable options: Nomadism
  9. 9. Nomads have been practiced a more dynamic, sustainableand adaptable system of resource planning and activity distribution for thousands of years.
  10. 10. Nomads It’s first and foremost a SURVIVAL STRATEGY.We are bored We are overcrowded We are limited and restricted CHANGE FREEDOM INTER- DEPENDENCE
  11. 11. Urban Nomads It’s first and foremost an ADOPTED LIFESTYLEThe urban nomad is someone who refuses tosettle down into just one home but insteadchooses to live in multiple locations aroundthe globe. In order to do this, the urbannomad relies on wireless technology to stayconnected to a modern way of life.
  12. 12. Old Nomads vs. Modern Nomads Old Nomads Modern NomadsNomadic Hunter gatherers Freeganism! Slum recyclers … Seasonal Construction Workers,Pastoral Nomads International Businessmen and women …Peripatetic Nomads Freelancers …
  13. 13. Useful Characteristics• Sharing and collaboration• Living Sustainably• Mixing and socializing yet Isolation• Conquering space• Adaptation . . .• They are always close to where they should!
  14. 14. Useful Characteristics• Sharing and collaboration• Living Sustainably MAXIMIZING THE MINIMAL• Mixing and socializing yet optional Isolation• Conquering space• Adaptation• Choice . . .• They are always close to where they should!
  15. 15. PropositionPlanning and building for Urban Nomads …… and Living Like an Urban Nomad!
  16. 16. But …
  17. 17. La propriété, cest le vol! ©Pierre-joseph Proudhon, 1840
  18. 18. Metropolitan Areas• Vast Areas• Job Diversity• Unequal Resource Distribution• Climate Diversity
  19. 19. Sport & Recreation Service & Sport & AdministrationRecreation TradeIndustries Workshops Agriculture
  20. 20. Very ColdNice! Not really cold Warm
  21. 21. Cool!Warm Hot Very Hot
  22. 22. Movable• Tents• Mobil Houses• Instant Houses• Parasite Housing
  23. 23. Somehow Fixed!• Time Sharing• Space Sharing (co-habitation)• Squatting• Being a Guest!
  24. 24. For Rent• Empty Houses• Foreclosed Houses• Renovated to rent• Abandoned Industrial Buildings• Renting Yard and Open Space
  25. 25. Some Neccessities• Broadband• Urban Amenities (public showers, warm spaces, Restrooms)• 24/7 Access to public space, for FREE!• Equipped Routes
  26. 26. Thank You! For attending. . . . And don’t forget to Share More!