Complexity and Planning: Systems, Assemblages and Simulations, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Complexity and Planning

Systems, Assemblages and Simulations, 1st Edition

By Gert de Roo, Jean Hillier


462 pages

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Complexity, complex systems and complexity theories are becoming increasingly important within a variety disciplines. While these issues are less well known within the discipline of spatial planning, there has been a recent growing awareness and interest. As planners grapple with how to consider the vagaries of the real world when putting together proposals for future development, they question how complexity, complex systems and complexity theories might prove useful with regard to spatial planning and the physical environment. This book provides a readable overview, presenting and relating a range of understandings and characteristics of complexity and complex systems as they are relevant to planning. It recognizes multiple, relational approaches of dynamic complexity which enhance understandings of, and facilitate working with, contingencies of place, time and the various participants' behaviours. In doing so, it should contribute to a better understanding of processes with regard to our physical and social worlds.


'Complexity theory is the wave of the future in planning thought. It helps us to see how things really work in cities and regions and provides a basis for rethinking the practice of planning for the 21st century. This collection of articles, each of which explores complexity in planning from a different perspective, advances the journey toward more insightful theory and more effective practice.' Judith Innes, University of California, Berkeley, USA, co-author of Planning with Complexity: An Introduction to Collaborative Rationality for the 21st Century ’Complex adaptive systems are the stuff of life and culture. But it is a long way from such general statements to how things play out on the ground. This book provides the best guide yet to planning for that complexity.’ Nigel Thrift, University of Warwick, UK 'Important reading for anyone interested in complexity theory, planning, and city systems.' Journal of Regional Science

About the Authors

Gert De Roo, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, The Netherlands; Jean Hillier, Associate Dean, School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, Editor Planning Theory, RMIT University, Australia and Joris Van Wezemael, Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development