20 June 2016

Workshop: Complexity and the urban environment: cities as complex socio-ecological systems


Workshop on Landscape ecology, CONCUR project

Engler Saal, 09:00-15:15, WSL
CH-8903 Birmensdorf, Zurich
Complexity theory has been considered to have the potential to bridge the natural and the social sciences. This workshop will specifically examine how complexity can be applied to cities. How can we theoretically approach and empirically analyse cities as complex socio-ecological systems? Key experts in this research field will present and discuss the theoretical frameworks and some of the applications of complexity to urban studies. Prof. Dr. Hemeritus David Byrne (University of Durham, UK) is a leading sociologist and will introduce the issue of complexity and urban studies. Prof. Dr. Lasse Gerrits (University of Bamberg, DE) is also a sociologist and will focus on the concept of trajectory and how it can help us to unveil urban transformation processes. Prof. Dr. Juval Portugali (University of Tel Aviv, IL) is a urban planner and human geographer, and will discuss the role of urban agents in contributing to complexity in cities. Finally, as part of the CONCUR project, a work-in-progress application of complexity to land change will be offered by Dr. Sofia Pagliarin (WSL).
This workshop is an original attempt to actually open gates and blur the "invisible lines" between the natural and the social sciences, and between qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches. We would be happy to welcome any social and natural scientist who may wish to briefly soak into this adventurous topic. 
09:00Welcome & presentations 
09:30-10:15 Complexity in urban studies (30 minutes) + Q&A (15 minutes) (Prof. Dr. Hemeritus D. Byrne, University of Durham, UK) 
10:15-10:45Coffee break
10:45-11:30Applications of complexity to urban studies: the concept of trajectory (30 minutes) + Q&A (15 minutes) (Prof. Dr. L. Gerrits, University of Bamberg, DE)
13:00-13:45Applications of complexity to urban studies: urban agents and planning in Complexity Theory in Cities (CTC) (30 minutes) + Q&A (15 minutes)  (Prof. Dr. J. Portugali, University of Tel Aviv, IL)
13:45-14:30Applications of complexity to urban studies: complexity, incidents of land-use change and QCA (30 minutes) + Q&A (15 minutes) (Dr. S. Pagliarin. WSL)
14:30-15:15Discussion and conclusion