Planning and Complexity

Call for papers

13th meeting: Complexity and digitalization of cities – Challenges for urban planning and design

 

13th AESOP Complexity and Planning Thematic Group Meeting

15th-16th January 2015, Tampere, Finland


Digitalization is revolutionizing the ways we use and perceive the city, but it also provides us with tools to reorganize planning processes to enable bottom-up processes. Where open source, ‘wiki-planning’ and serious gaming meet with guerilla urbanism and top-down “smart cities” concepts, new governance landscapes may evolve. Cities respond ever faster to this emerging new information, innovations, and their physical and institutional impact. Consequently, feedback loops in the city evolution are shortened and we are compelled to constantly review our understanding of it. 

Cities are facing enormous changes due to the digital revolution. Information networks and flows influence significantly the way cities are used, our ability to analyze them, and the ways of organizing planning and decision-making processes. The digital city is increasingly dominating the physical city, affecting the emergence and expansion of social networks, (re)defining how public space is used and changing our capability to navigate in the urban maze. 

Meanwhile, the technological revolution is providing us with expanding capacity to trace, compare, and reflect on citizens’ activities. New devices and applications enable both professionals and lay people to capture, share, and create information, enriching and expanding our understanding of the city. 

Furthermore, the digitalization of cities provides us with opportunities to reorganize planning processes to enable bottom-up processes. Where open source, ‘wiki-planning’ and serious gaming meet with guerilla urbanism and top-down “smart cities” concepts, new governance landscapes may evolve.  Cities respond ever faster to this emerging new information, innovations, and their physical and institutional impact. Consequently, feedback loops in the city evolution are shortened and we are compelled to constantly review our understanding of it. 

Complex theories offer a source of inspiration for enhancing our understanding of the digitalization of cities and its effects. Complexity theories assume that systems  constantly transform bottom-up in response to their dynamic environment, producing continuous evolution as a result of alternation of non-linear, chaotic and linear, steady states, making the system extremely hard to predict. Along with the emerging digitalization of cities, we appear to be approaching a less predictable state - more information is produced than we can process, and it interacts in a horizontal rather than a hierarchical way, producing unexpected, disproportionate outcomes. This expanding complexity of cities, uncertainty, and imperfect knowledge makes the call for complexity inspired planning approaches even more topical: methods for steering are nonetheless necessary in the city. Complexity theories of cities offer concepts and ideas to enhance our understanding of digital/spatial cities.

We invite all complexity scholars across disciplines to contribute with high quality submissions on the following (but not limited to) conference themes:

Encountering evolution – empirically based methods and tools accounting for the evolutionary nature of the city, taking account of the actual complexity of the city, not only the complicatedness

Operational models for increasing complexity and transitions – philosophical, theoretical, analytical, and institutional/governance models which help to understand, guide and support the self-organization and non-linear change in the city

Enriching complexity – by reflecting back from urban practices to theories of complex, adaptive systems in cities

Crises as an opportunity

The deadline for Abstracts (250 words) is September 30th 2014
EXTENDED DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACT SUBMISSION: October 20th 2014
Full papers will be required.

For additional information and submitting abstracts: jenni.partanen@tut.fi