The Relevance of Mesoamerican Urbanism

A key issue facing urban systems today is adaptation to climate change. Past urban experience should provide useful information in this regard, but efforts to leverage insights from the urban past have often been stymied by misconceptions regarding the nature and diversity of premodern settlements and institutions. In a recent perspectives piece in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a group of archaeologists, including several CfAS associates, call for a dialogue among urban archaeologists, sustainability scientists, and researchers interested in urban adaptation to climate change through a synthetic perspective on the organizational diversity of urbanism. The authors argue that such discussions should focus on resilience and the factors that fostered adaptation and sustainability instead of the traditional emphasis on collapse. You can check out the paper here.

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