AESOP's thematic group on Complexity and Planning held its 12th meeting/conference in Manchester. The event was hosted by the Manchester School of Architecture and focused on exploring the potentials and parallels between processes of Spatial Planning and Urbanism/Design. The complexity sciences were used as the basis on which diverse disciplines could create and enhance this discourse through an examination of processes of continuous and inevitable transformation.
The Complex Systems framework encompasses current theories referring to Smart Cities, Big Data, Computational Modelling and Digital Citizen Participation. The approaches being researched are about the next step in urban planning, design and governance.
Following the submission of 60+ papers, a select group of academics and practitioners from a multi-disciplinary background, including planners, urbanists, architects, scientists and psychologists, were invited from Europe, North America and Asia to Manchester for an intense and diverse discussion with 17 papers being presented.
Detailed information and all papers from the meeting can be found on the thematic group website (http://www.aesop-planning.eu/blogs/en_GB/planning-and-complexity).
Urban transformation has increasingly become recognised as both inevitable and complex. Processes of urban change can take various forms, from evolutionary to emergent, and are driven by trans-scalar and dynamic relationships ranging from policy and infrastructure to local and bottom up agency. Working with these complexities requires innovative new approaches and tools, which can incorporate and utilise the inherent potentials of urban change. These could support spatial planners and designers in managing transformation and retaining dynamics and adaptability within systems.
Processes of urban transformation incorporate multiple and parallel assemblages of dynamic change. It is often within the comparative timelines of the processes of change and the differences between the types of transformation, that opportunities for intervention and management in such processes can be identified and negotiated. With this in mind, spatial planners and designers of the urban realm are asked to demonstrate, identify and propose innovative approaches and methodologies, which utilise complexity as the filter through which morphological urban processes can be addressed in a variety of ways, from spatial acupuncture and pattern formulation, to stakeholder negotiation and policy design.
This event is aimed at exploring more closely the potentials and parallels between processes of Spatial Planning and Urbanism/Design. In particular, how the complexity sciences can create and enhance this discourse through an examination of processes of inevitable transformation. Papers may address:
• The relation between processes of planning, urban spatial design, urban transformation and complexity;
• Approaches and tools to work with ongoing and inevitable urban transformation;
• The potential of utilising multiple timelines and dynamic relationships between spatial development processes to enhance planning and design methodologies;
• Complexity as the basis for communication and collaboration between planners, designers and policy makers