02 August 2011

Cities as a source of recovery from the Economic Crisis of 2008, Part III (A): Establishing the Environment

Before the strategies that were mentioned in Part II can be discussed, it is important to discuss the environment or foundation that must be established as a prerequisite. I will divide this section into three parts for readability on the blog.
One of the problems has been with traditional planning methods and other means to bring about change in an urban area is that it has been done from the top down or elitist planning. As discussed on this blog and in my published articles, the entire premise of rational comprehensive planning is faulty and ineffective to address post-industrial urban development. The ‘new’ planning environment s based on the concepts of complexity theory should be: incremental, scale less, networked, inclusive, non-hierarchical, dynamic, creative, on the edge of chaos, and ‘tinged’ with utopianism or hope. Ultimately, establishing the most fertile environment for change is more important than the proposed strategies themselves, which may change radically once the process is started.

Creating an environment for change can be seen to be akin to the construction of “the rules” in fractal generation. When generating a fractal you can start with one rule or formula that will manifest itself into a design. It is the same when creating an environment or conditions for a new type of urban planning. It is similar to the match that starts a flame which leads to the burning of logs in a fireplace. The flame is the start of creating a fire that will warm your house and make you warm and happy. But, if there is not dry wood or kindling to begin the fire and if there is not enough wood, it will soon die. Alternatively, to look at more ethereal concept—the Big Bang Theory-- we see a similar, but different analogy. Before the first second of the beginning of ‘Reality’, there was contained in one miniscule mass all the elements that would lead to the creation of stars, galaxies and ultimately my being here being able to write this blog entry. Likewise, consider how most animals, including humans come into existence. All animals start with an unfertilized egg and once fertilized the egg divided into more cells specializing to form various organs. However, within this egg are all the instructions to form a living being. Thus, the establishment for the environment of planning is more crucial that the plans themselves or the projects implemented.

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