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Complexity, Planning & Urbanism

New MArch Atelier at the Manchester School of Architecture: Developing new theoretical approaches & computational tools using a complexity science framework (systems, self-organisation, emergence, intelligence, structural change, adaptation) for the design, management, governance and understanding of future cities related to climate change, citizen participation, development strategies, resilient interventions, policy making, urban morphology and capacity management.

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Civic Chemistry – Desirability and Well-being Assessment Within Complex Urban Systems

Cities are complex dynamic systems consisting of millions of small individual factors working together in a chaotically interlinked way. Conventionally, from a governing bodies perspective, to assess and understand such systems, those individual factors are often grouped together and generalised to the closest overlaying indicator which often ends up being monetary value or marked revenue capability. Such approach creates a sense of disconnection between individuality in local population and the governing body.

We propose to create map based digital tool that collects individual opinions about the amenities within the city environment in a collective visual way that then is overlaid and compared with the empirical data analysis to create more complete picture about the wellbeing and desirability of the city. The aim is to produce a platform for local people to express their thoughts directly to the governing body as well as an opportunity for the governing body to collect more accurate real time data of the current situation within their city, and act accordingly. This should create a healthy dialogue between the two groups resulting in better understanding of the current issues and more adequate approach to resolve these problems. If successful this system could have national implications.


Manchester School of Architecture. MArch Program. CPU (Complexity Planning & Urbanism)

Students: Uldis Vilcins, Oana Ilnitchi

Supervisors: Ulysses Sengupta, Rob Hyde, Deljana Iossifova, Eric Cheung


24 November 2015
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