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Collective intelligence combined with collaborative action are, for me, the hallmarks of a society determined to adapt with hope…


Pam Warhurst, CBE

Chair of Incredible Edible Network, former Chair of the Forestry Commission Great Britain, Co-chair of the Countryside Agency, etc


Some of the most fascinating work underway worldwide is exploring the frontiers of collective intelligence and collective wisdom – how communities and cities can think together and get beyond the often banal promise of ‘smart cities’. This book is packed with frameworks and ideas applying these ideas to the future evolution of cities: literally, a mind-expanding book.


Geoff Mulgan: Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy and Social Innovation, UCL, and author of ‘Big Mind’


Powerful and poignant. If there were ever a time to foreground a plurality of knowledges from all over the world for common purpose, it would be now – to advance Deeper City’s proposition of shifting crisis towards transformation. The combination of traditional foresight techniques with gaming, wordplays and Ravetz’s ever-evocative visualisations, is rich and compelling. Just what is needed to invite the collective to participate in growing new wisdoms in troubling and uncertain times. A valuable resource for all re-imaginers, re-educators and re-makers.


Professor Geci Karuri-Sebina: South African Cities Network / African Centre for Cities, Johannesburg, South Africa


This is a truly brilliant book. And the cherry on top is that it easy to read, and packed with wonderful images. A true contribution in helping create a deeper transformative Gaian polity. We are all indebted to Ravetz.


Professor Sohail Inayatullah. Unesco Chair in Futures Studies,, Professor at Tamkang University


 Inspirational, imaginative, wise – and – deep… One of the most visionary and creative works on cities and human co-evolution I have ever encountered. Joe Ravetz takes us on a profound journey into collaborative learning, thinking and exploring.


Dr Cristina Garzillo Leemhuis: Senior Coordinator, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, Germany


Systemic crises demand systemic responses. In a world deeply amiss, we can’t tweak our way to liveable cities and a decent future. We need to nurture the collective intelligence and action for transformative change, and this book is an essential guide for that journey.

Paul Raskin, Ph.D: President, Tellus Institute: Director, Great Transition Initiative, USA


We face unprecedented times of stress, with large global shocks like pandemics, a rapid move towards urbanization, and climate change which all impact human society in deep, profoundly unequal ways. Systemic thinking is needed to find ways out of this crisis. Drawing on deep experience from diverse geographies, and varied contexts from urban finance to ecology, politics, technology and culture, Deeper City provides ideas to spur our imagination. This book is important reading for all those who wish to understand how to design a future urban world that is sustainable and just”


Professor Harini Nagendra, Azim Premji University, Bangalore


‘Deep structure’ is an idea originating in the theory of language, which enables us to dig below what we see on the surface to more fundamental meanings. It also applies to cities, the crucibles of collective intelligence, far beyond our current obsession with ‘smart cities’. This calls for synergistic insights from many perspectives. Joe Ravetz has not only produced a roadmap of multiple pathways for the future of cities, but also an atlas of the terrain that we need to navigate, with its many layers of politics, economics, technologies, and ecologies. Essential reading for anyone interested in how we might grapple with the huge challenges that future cities bring, from climate change to the current Pandemic.


Professor Michael Batty:  Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), University College London


I have been a fan of Joe’s for many years. The post-script to Deeper City on a Pandemic-III is particularly timely as cities everywhere are looking to rethink themselves. At Ethical Reading, for example, we are working with business and community organisations on pathways to tackle multiple social and economic challenges. I can recommend the ideas of Deeper City – and the graphics!


Gill Ringland: SAMI Fellow Emeritus: Council Member of the ESRC: Fellow of British Computing Society


By the middle of the century about three quarters of the world’s people will live in cities. This makes what cities think and do about climate change, central to any chance we have of climate policy success. We cannot succeed unless top down policies by governments are complemented by bottom up policies in cities, and communities or networks of all kinds, whose leaders are much more likely to be trusted by voters.


Tom Burke, CBE:  Chair & Founding Director of E3G (Third Generation Environmentalism): Visiting Professor at University College & Imperial College London.


This book is the culmination of ideas developed over a long period of time and shared with numerous collaborators, including a research team in which I was a member.  In mapping the pathways for the future, Ravetz offers a comprehensive and thoughtful treatment of how ‘synergistic thinking’ may become possible. Enriched with examples from across the world, and beautifully illustrated by Ravetz’ superb drawings, the book provides an engaging and accessible volume for a wide range of readers who are interested in the future of cities and everything within them. 


Professor Simin Davoudi: Director of Global Urban Research Unit (GURU), Co-Director of NU Centre for Cities, Newcastle University        



The economic crash, global pandemic, looming climate emergency and growing inequality, all show that new ways of thinking and acting are urgently needed. Joe Ravetz sets out in both words and pictures clear pathways for this emerging reality.  He demonstrates that overcoming these problems is possible, and that opportunities for a wiser and more peaceful society lie in wait…

Alex Smith:  Chair of Food & Drink Federation Organics Group: Chair of Camley St Neighbourhood Forum,


As Joe Ravetz sets out in Deeper City – we, that is all of us and all societies, are in the middle of a ‘massive act of self-harm’. We are faced with global existential threats, despite global connectivity to anywhere and everywhere. There has been no more critical time than now for change. Ravetz challenges us to do this, starting with the language we use. The range of ideas and styles used to illustrate them is vast and itself challenging. In many ways, reading this book is like entering a great art gallery with so many rooms , painters, exhibitions , shops , cafes …  One needs to go back, time and again, to really absorb the wealth of ideas.


Professor Vincent Goodstadt:

Honorary President, European Council of Spatial Planners