Globalization, security infrastructure and energy sustainability can be designed based on a scientific principle. In this book, these objectives are approached based on constructal theory, which means to design such projects as global “flow” architectures that are “alive” with movement of personnel, equipment, information, education, etc.
Constructal theory is a new physics theory, which views the generation of flow configuration as a natural evolutionary phenomenon governed by the Constructal Law:
“For a finite-size flow system to persist in time (to live, to survive), its configuration must change in time such that it provides easier and easier access to its currents (fluid, energy, species).”
Successful designs are those in which “imperfections” (flow resistances, costs, danger, choke points) are balanced and distributed optimally throughout the flow territory. This integrative approach to the design of human movement and infrastructure leads strategically to maximum global performance (efficiency, cost, safety, security, sustainability). Freedom is good for design: the flow configuration must be free to morph in order to be brought to a level of greater and greater global performance.
This book highlights the progress made during the NATO Advanced Research Workshop “Constructal Human Dynamics, Globalization, Security and Sustainability”, held in Évora, Portugal on 20-23 May 2008. This workshop put social scientists in the same room with physicists, engineers and biologists, who addressed together main topics such as human dynamics viewed as natural phenomena of design generation, flow networks for distribution and collection, large-scale construction projects (e.g., airports, waste storage), logistics, decontamination, energy supply routes, distributed energy systems, water resources management, environmental security sustainability, and globalization.
The chapters selected for this book are representative of the interdisciplinary approach and team atmosphere that emerged in Évora. We thank the participants and, in particular, our colleagues who contributed to this book: Gilbert W. Merkx, Wayne Miller, Fabien Frizon and Stephen Périn. We thank NATO for the financial support of the Évora workshop. A community of scholars has emerged around the new paradigm of social organization centered on the constructal law. Further progress is put on display at www.constructal.org.
Antonio F. Miguel
A. Heitor Reis