Systems Thinking and Decision Making in Urban and Environmental Planning

Systems Thinking and Decision Making in Urban and Environmental Planning

Anastássios Perdicoúlis

In this path-breaking book, Anastássios Perdicoúlis progresses the conception and expression of the planning problem as an ‘extended mental model’. In doing so he concisely expresses the essential elements of strategic planning (conditions, objectives, action) in a visual form which both stimulates and clearly communicates reasoning. As a result, concerns, defined objectives, and corresponding actions are uniquely linked. He goes on to illustrate how the structural and functional organization of the target system extends naturally into the planning process, and how decision-making therefore becomes based on systems learning.

Preface

Anastássios Perdicoúlis

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, transport, environment, environmental economics, transport, urban and regional studies, transport, urban studies

Extract

This is not the first time that systems thinking appears in the planning literature. Rather than replicating previous efforts, this book updates and reinforces them in a special approach featuring extended mental models and descriptive causal diagrams. The guiding vision is 'thoughtfully elaborated plans, communicated properly', distilled from more than twenty years of work, learning, teaching, and experimenting in (and across) a number of fields - for instance urban and regional planning, environmental planning, and system dynamics. The book brings a fresh approach and material to systems thinking for the planners who are already familiar with it, an attempt to direct the enduring group of adherents away from non-explicit and non-systems modes of planning, and guidance for the young planners, new to systems thinking. The case studies are based on real plans, presented here with a hidden identity so they can be dissected, commented, and reconstructed to protect the reputation of the professionals involved. The style of the writing is explicative, so younger readers feel guided and welcome. The occasional reference to keywords in Greek and Latin are meant to provide insight into basic notions, again intended mostly for the younger readers. The older and more experienced readers should find enough challenge in the book, for instance with the formality regarding the conception and expression of mental models, as well as the 'systems definition' of the planning problem. vii