Decoding Cities to Model, Assess and Redesign them as Complex Urban Systems

Patorniti, Nicholas P. and Stevens, Nicholas J. and Salmon, Paul M. (2019) Decoding Cities to Model, Assess and Redesign them as Complex Urban Systems. IS THIS THE REAL WORLD? Perfect Smart Cities vs. Real Emotional Cities. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2019, 24th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 209-218. ISSN 2521-3938

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The complexity of cities presents a key challenge in being able to ‘decode‘ and subsequently measure or describe them. Adding to these challenges is the transdisciplinary nature of city design which largely accords to disciplinary silos. This research argues that successful city design can benefit from understanding cities as complex sociotechnical systems – considering the interaction between humans, technology and the environment. This paper provides a precis of a programme of research which utilised the results of an international survey to ‘decode’ and construct a systems model of a main street to help understand andappropriately respond to city complexity. The research uses subject matter expert knowledge and insights from 70 survey participants, across 5 continents, to model an archetype main street. The project describes and models hundreds of physical objects, priority measures and main street functions with linkages between these components. The model allows for the exploration and measurement of a range of both technical characteristics such as engineering standards, as well as the influence and outcomes of necessary subjective measures like, user experience. It was able to provide an insight about which characteristics are critical to the city system, how they are delivered and why they are important - from a transdisciplinary perspective. This paper also highlights the work done to identify the relationships between the physical objects of a main street. Further details of the research programme are highlighted in the conclusions, including how the archetype model was used to explore the performance of a main street case study, identify missing components and locate them with consideration of their optimal proximity to other related features. Weargue that this innovative approach may provide a more structured and process driven exploration of city design.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: urban model, sociotechnical systems, complex urban system, city design, urban planning
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2021 16:19
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2021 16:19

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