Deeper City: Collective Intelligence and the Pathways from Smart to Wise, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Deeper City

Collective Intelligence and the Pathways from Smart to Wise, 1st Edition

By Joe Ravetz


456 pages | 326 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2020-04-29
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Deeper City is the first major application of new thinking on ‘deeper complexity’, applied to grand challenges such as runaway urbanization, climate change, and rising inequality. The author provides a new framework for the collective intelligence – the capacity for learning and synergy – in many-layered cities, technologies, economies, ecologies and political systems.


The key is in synergistic design thinking, to move beyond smart efficiency with ‘winner-takes-all’, towards wiser human systems where ‘winners-are-all’. 40 distinct pathways ‘from smart to wise’ are mapped in Deeper City and presented for strategic action, ranging from local neighbourhoods to global finance.


As an atlas of the future, and resource library of pathway mappings, this book expands on the author’s previous work, City-Region 2020. From a decade of development and testing, Deeper City combines visual thinking with a narrative style and practical guidance. This book will be indispensable for those seeking a sustainable future - students, politicians, planners, systems designers, activists, engineers and researchers.

Table of Contents


1.1 What’s the big idea? Bigger questions 

1.2 What’s the big picture? Visual thinking 

1.3 What’s a Deeper City? Concepts & FAQs

1.4 Where to start? Book-in-use



2.1 Here there be dragons: Think-onomics-III

2.2 The future starts now: Nexus-Connexus  

2.3 Cases & places: City-State-Planet



3.1 Where to start: Synergistics-Overview 

3.2 What’s the problem: System-Mapping

3.3 What’s coming up: Scenario-Mapping 

3.4 What’s possible: Synergy-Mapping

3.5 What’s to be done: Strategy-Mapping 

3.6 How & when: Toolkits-III



4.1 What problem: Cities-Landscape 

4.2 Where to live: Neighbourhood-III

4.3 How to build: Housing-III 

4.4 How to renew: Retrofit-III

4.5 Where to build: City-region-III 

4.6 Where not to build: Anti-City-Region-III

4.7 How to plan: Civic-Design-III 

4.8 Pathways: Cities-III



5.1 What problem: Economies-Landscape 

5.2 Where to work: Local-onomics-III

5.3 Which resources: Circul-onomics-III 

5.4 How to create value: Enterprise-III

5.5 How to invest: Finance-III  

5.6 How to grow & why: Prosperity-III

5.7 Pathways: Economies-III



6.1 What problem: Ecologies-Landscape

6.2 How to be green: Eco-Urban-III 

6.3 How to be cool: Climate-III

6.4 How to thrive: Adaptation-III 

6.5 How to grow & eat: Food-III

6.6 Pathways: Ecologies-III



7.1 What problem: Technologies-Landscape

7.2 On the frontier: Informatics-III 

7.3 On the value-chain: Smart-services-III

7.4 On the platform: Smart-communities-III  

7.5 How to learn: Education-III

7.6 How to know: Science-III 

7.7 Pathways: Tech-Knowledges-III



8.1 What problem: Political-Landscape

8.2 Where to take control: Multi-level-III  

8.3 How to manage: Organizations-III

8.4 How to be well-fair: Public-Service-III 

8.5 Who gets what: Equalities-III

8.6 The state to come: Co-opolism-III  

8.7 Pathways: Political-III



9.1 How to think: Deeper-Mind-III  

9.2 How to decide: E/Valuation-III

9.3 How to thrive: Resilience-III  

9.4 How to look ahead: Foresight-III



10.1 From personal to political: Societal-III 

10.2 Where and when: Developmental-III

10.3 All in the mind: Global-III 

10.4 What next: Multi-versity & Collaboratorium-III



11.1 WTF 

11.2 Work-shopping

11.3 Mind-games


12. ANNEX 

121 Glossary & abbreviations

12.2 Summary Tables  

12.3 Bibliography

12.4 General index

About the Author

Joe Ravetz is Co-Director of the Collaboratory for Urban Resilience & Energy at the University of Manchester. He works on sustainable cities and regions, with a unique perspective on collective intelligence for urban and environmental issues. He is a systems designer, academic, visual thinker, practitioner and process facilitator for complex inter-connected problems. His previous publications include City-Region 2020 and Environment and City.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning