Decoding and managing cities: toward a complex and dynamic system approach

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Due to the rapid growth of cities and their social, cultural, economic and technological evolution, the policies and legislative instruments need to adapt to this change. By 2050, United-Nations estimate 6.4 billion people1 are expected to be living in cities (Riffat et al., 2016), with relevant consequences on resources, emissions and services2. In spite of this, the development of Europe‟s cities and the relations among them constitute one of the most important driving force for the future of Europe (Rotmans and Van Asselt, 2000). The complexity of the urban phenomena needs to be investigated in an integrated manner, through the management of the systems and processes making up the city. Indeed, the city is recognised in literature as a complex, open and adaptive system, that evolves in time and space (Portugali et al., 2012), (Healy, 2006). Its components (i.e. buildings, infrastructures, human agents etc.), with own lifecycle, interact among them and are not predictable linearly, not even separable, but are based on the principle, attributedto Aristotle, that "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts". Furthermore, the cities, as "systems within systems of cities", should take into account the interdependencies with their territories. Each city should study both the relationships within itself but also with the urban boundaries, urban region, in an inter-scalar vision.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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