Springer, Dordrecht


433 Pages

ISBN 978-3-642-24543-5

Complexity theories of cities have come of age

an overview with implications to urban planning and design

Edited by

Juval Portugali, Han Meyer, Egbert Stolk, Ekim Tan

Today, our cities are an embodiment of the complex, historical evolution of knowledge, desires and technology. Our planned and designed activities co-evolve with our aspirations, mediated by the existing technologies and social structures.  The city represents the accretion and accumulation of successive layers of collective activity, structuring and being structured by other, increasingly distant cities, reaching now right around the globe.

This historical and structural development cannot therefore be understood or captured by any set of fixed quantitative relations. Structural changesimply that the patterns of growth, and their underlying reasons change over time, and therefore that any attempt to control the morphology of cities and their patterns of flow by means of planning and design, must be dynamical, based on the mechanisms that drive the changes occurring at a given moment.

This carefully edited post-proceedings volume gathers a snapshot view by leading researchers in field, of current complexity theories of cities. In it, the achievements, criticisms and potentials yet to be realized are reviewed and the implications to planning and urban design are assessed.

Publication details

Full citation:

Portugali, J. , Meyer, H. , Stolk, E. , Tan, E. (eds) (2012). Complexity theories of cities have come of age: an overview with implications to urban planning and design, Springer, Dordrecht.

Table of Contents


Portugali Juval


Open Access Link
The origins of complexity theory in cities and planning

Batty Michael; Marshall Stephen


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Complexity theories of cities

Portugali Juval


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Allen Peter M.


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Meaning and material

Read Stephen


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The genetic code for cities

Hillier Bill


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Johnson Jeffrey


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Complexity theories of cities

Portugali Juval


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Urbanism as computation

Salingaros Nikos A.


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Simple rules

Sijmons Dirk


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A rationalized delta

Meyer Han


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A complexity theoretic view of cities as artefacts of design intentionality

Zamenopoulos Theodore; Alexiou Katerina


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The responsive city design game

Tan Ekim; Portugali Juval


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A sirn view on urban design

Stolk Egbert; Portugali Juval


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