Handbook on Complexity and Public Policy
Show Less

Handbook on Complexity and Public Policy

Edited by Robert Geyer and Paul Cairney

Though its roots in the natural sciences go back to the early 20th century, complexity theory as a scientific framework has developed most rapidly since the 1970s. Increasingly, complexity theory has been integrated into the social sciences, and this groundbreaking Handbook on Complexity and Public Policy has brought together top thinkers in complexity and policy from around the world. With contributions from Europe, North America, Brazil and China this comprehensive Handbook splits the topic into three cohesive parts: Theory and Tools, Methods and Modeling, and Application.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 21: Going for Plan B – conditioning adaptive planning: about urban planning and institutional design in a non-linear, complex world

Gert de Roo


Cities co-evolve, which means that they do not simply emerge from nowhere or grow linearly. Co-evolution is the non-linear transformation of a city’s structures and functions, through which cities change physically, socially and institutionally. Cities are subject to institutional constructs which frame the coherent development of the daily environment, while aiming to create a space for people to live together decently, perhaps even pleasantly. These institutional constructs supposedly mirror a sense of community, either through democratic mechanisms or other mechanisms through which a society’s desires can be taken into consideration. Cities emerge over time and new functions, meanings and perspectives consequently co-evolve along with them (Geddes, 1915; Mumford, 1961; Castells and Hall, 1994). Throughout this evolutionary path the city’s institutional reality will repeatedly be redesigned. It is a trajectory of continuously adjusting towards a fit between what is appreciated by communities and the changes that have emerged within the physical environment. This institutional reality represents all the mechanisms which enable a community to express its desires and worries regarding the communal environment, resulting in frameworks of conventions (including those representing conventions of ‘good governance’).

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.