Abstract for: Innovating and Inventing for Sustainable Cities: a Tale of Three Incongruities

Global population growth and urbanization continue apace, making cities ever more important to humanity. But most cities are not environmentally, economically, socially, or fiscally sustainable and are unable to secure the investment financing needed for multi-dimensional sustainability. At their root these problems proceed from the misapplication of Cartesian reductionist approaches to complex dynamic city-systems. A new framework is needed for integrated, collaborative, systemically effective investment essential to city sustainability; this paper introduces an initiative to provide that framework, now under way in partnership with the cities of London and Boston. This is a unique opportunity for the System Dynamics field, one that requires large-scale socio-economic innovation as well as a host of new technological inventions that will reshape and automate the practice.