Biomorphic Urbanism and the Future of Cities

Biomorphic Urbanism and the Future of Cities

Seminar Abstract 

Peter will present his recent collaboration with National Geographic. The project envisioned a ‘Future City’ as part of the magazine’s March issue focused on global urbanization. Drawing on inspiration from SOM’s extensive research and urban planning precedents, the Future City addresses urbanization in the year 2050, when the global population is expected to reach 9.8 billion. The project is designed around several key principles, including conservation of ecological resources, dense settlement patterns, and the behavior of people and culture. The project was supported by a group of interdisciplinary designers across five global SOM offices. The team went through a process they refer to as “Now & Next,” where current urban design concepts are evaluated and then reimagined for the year 2050, incorporating the advancement of infrastructure, resources, technology and transportation. Peter will also present the concept of biomorphic urbanism that formed the foundation of the Future City project.

Seminar Speaker(s) 

Peter Kindel
Director of Urban Design and Planning, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)

Peter J. Kindel is a California-based architect, urbanist and landscape architect focused on the design of cities and their complementary relationship to transportation and environmental systems. He specializes in large-scale mixed-use projects for public, private, and institutional clients, and his interdisciplinary projects include city planning, commercial master plans, academic planning, new communities, public infrastructure, and open space systems. Currently a Director of SOM’s City Design Practice for western North America, Peter is focused on the unique issues facing western cities and regions. His previous projects at SOM include a National Plan for the Kingdom of Bahrain, Chicago’s Millennium Park and China’s Chongming Island Master Plan, among other notable efforts. Peter initiated SOM’s Hong Kong City Design Practice studio, working on projects throughout China, Australia, and Southeast Asia. Kindel is a member of the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Public Development and Infrastructure Council and is active in interdisciplinary research and pro-bono efforts to improve our cities. These include National Geographic’s Future City project (2019); The Hong Kong Waterline (2016); and The Last Four Miles (2010), a plan to complete Chicago’s public shoreline.  His work has been featured in multiple publications and media outlets.


Jun 7, 2019 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm