Gert de Roo & Elisabete A. Silva (eds.), A Planner's Encounter With Complexity (New Directions in Planning Theory). Ashgate Pub Co. 2010. 336 pp.

Published at: 13 March 2011

Spatial planning is about dealing with our 'everyday' environment. In the "Planners' Encounter with Complexity", the authors present various understandings of complexity and how the environment is considered accordingly. One of these considerations is the environment as subject to processes of continuous change, being either progressive or destructive, evolving non-linearly and alternating between stable and dynamic periods. If the environment that is subject to change is adaptive, self-organizing, robust and flexible in relation to this change, a process of evolution and co-evolution can be expected. This understanding of an evolving environment is not mainstream to every planner. However, in this book the authors argue that environments confronted with discontinuous, non-linear evolving processes might be more real than the idea that an environment is simply a planner's creation. Above all, they argue that recognizing the 'complexity' of our environment offers an entirely new perspective on our world and our environment, on planning theory and practice, and on the raise on d'etre of the planners that we are.