The Future’s Urban Spaces: Sun Tsu and the Analysis of the Terrain

by Lt. Col. Alessandro Rappazzo (original published in German), a career officer in the Swiss army, Group Chief Leadership Course II / Staff Course I and author of “Mein Weg: Vorwärts” (only in German). This article is part of his book (Text by

Potential battlegrounds are changing, partly as a result of geopolitical factors and global threat patterns. Ongoing environmental developments are forcing every leader to consider new perspectives. We all know this. The size of future trends, including megacities, demographics, technology and a new generation of people, will have an increasing effect on our society. Verticalization in high-rise buildings, density, vulnerability, globalization, cultures, etc., will affect our analyses more than ever. This article aims to motivate the reader, when assessing the military situation – and in particular when assessing the environment – to abandon tried and trusted thought processes and pursue new ways of thinking.

Initial situation

Geopolitics: Cause for concern

It is a fact that the world is constantly changing. From a geopolitical point of view, Europe faces a resurgent dualism, between an ever more cynical Russia and an increasingly more chaotic West. Strategic antagonism in politics, the economy and the military has crossed a threshold into a new era (see “Switzerland’s Security 2015“, Federal Intelligence Service, May 2015, p. 7f). Today, the violence of terrorism has given it access to the geopolitical stage. This is also assisted by the targeted use of social media, which are manipulated by a so-called “caliphate”. We see here a reality that is in a constantly changing state of flux.

This article was posted August 2nd, 2016 on It was first published in German in the magazine of the Society of Swiss military officer “Allgemeine Schweizerische Militärzeitschrift” (ASMZ) and in the Italian speaking sister publication “Rivista Militare Svizzera di lingua italiana” (RMSI). I personally like to thank for the English translation by, which is a good influencer in geopolitical discussions for years. You can read the rest oft the article here. If you are interested in geopolitical topics is your time worth.

And please read this comment from a visitors too.



Veröffentlicht von Rappazzo

Executive MBA @FHGR | Eidg. dipl. Berufsoffizier @MILAK, ETH ZH, | Candidate PhD @Gloucestershire University | Autodidaktisches Philosophie-Studium

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