Cities are evolving systems. We have little understanding of their behaviour. We know that they are highly dynamic, in that they face changing environments and inputs, and adapt to these changes. Over a longer historical period, cities have always successfully adapted to changing environmental conditions and thus have been extremely resilient. From 1100 to 1800, only 42 cities worldwide were deserted after their construction.
Pour a glass of water out of a kitchen tap throughout the Canterbury region of New Zealand and chances are you’ll be staring at what many consider the finest drinking water in the world. Cool, clear and untouched, it’s originated in the mountains of the Southern Alps, travelled across the Canterbury Plains in the large braided river systems and then filtered slowly through the alluvial shingles before settling in large natural aquifers.