To be honest, this is a term by want of something that really fits. Urbanism for me refers to the human ant hill, or bee hive, and how its structure both reflects and influences its inhabitants, and those that came before them.
The growth of urban environments and the urban proportion of world population, being exponential phenomena, have only recently taken off big time. And recently is an understament: when I was born there were less than 3 billion people, now we’re at approximately 7.7 billion. When I was born less than 33% of world population lived in cities, by now more than 55% do.
Already most of humanity’s habitat is now the city. On top of that, lots of what we call nature are landscapes that have been thoroughly shaped by humans. Much of what we call nature, near all of so-called rural areas, and all of urban areas are thoroughly human-made, or (let’s be a bit more modest because so much is only human-guided, not actually our ‘making’), human-dominated habitats.
I live in a city and like most cannot escape the mental dichotomy of nature/human-made. Nevertheless, looking at cityscapes as particular forms of nature rather than opposed to nature makes much visible that would otherwise remain hidden.
Anything I write about perspectives that help me see more is (also) categorized as urbanism and made accessible by clicking on that category (see right-hand column).
Let me try to illustrate what I mean with a perspective that opens you up to new ways to experiencing the familiar. I may have a very different taste in music than John Cage, but he is a perfect example of someone looking at his environment without the blinders of habitual dichotomies like natural/artificial:
Anything in the category urbanism aims at sharing alternative ways of looking and seeing that cleanse habitual doors of perception to reveal the intricate, complex, fascinating urban habitats of our species for what they are, an expression of social animal nature as any other.