The city: live organism with design and sustainability from principle

William Mong Distinguished Lecture by Professor Sylvie Lorente
May 24, 2016

Professor Sylvie Lorente, Chair Professor, INSA, University of Toulouse, France, gave a lecture on May 24, 2016 titled “The city: live organism with design and sustainability from principle”.


Sustainable urbanization means to use more efficiently flow resources that are finite, to facilitate the movement of people and their access to food, flowing water, shelter, heating, cooling, electricity, security and many more human needs. From the Constructal law perspective, the city is a dynamic (evolving) flow architecture driven by finite resources, and organized in a finite space. The city is a tapestry of vascular flow architectures distributed in a ‘designed’ multiscale porous medium. The buildings behave like the organs interconnected into the whole organism, which is the city. Renewable energy is an integral part of this design, as in the distributed design of phase change materials for thermal energy storage. Because our energy needs will continue to persist and most likely increase, the design of distributed energy systems must be approached in a holistic way, from principle.