Understanding cities and planning through complexity: Settlement pattern changes via urban transformation projects in Izmir, Turkey

Şanlı T., Yetişkul Şenbil E.

AESOP Annual Congress, Gothenburg, Sweden, 10 - 14 July 2018, pp.114

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Gothenburg
  • Country: Sweden
  • Page Numbers: pp.114
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Increase in the number of academic studies trying to explain cities by complexity science from the 1990s, is not only a coincidence (Batty, 2005; Portugali, 2000). There, planning, as a serious yet unpredictable ‘game’ full of challenges (de Roo et al 2016), is in need of proposing new approaches in order to deal with such complex systems, where planners and academics should realise the power and the capability of the process through strategic navigation (Hillier, 2011); recognise the understanding of multi-agent structures containing numerous agents engaged in various relations and communications with each (Sawyer, 2005); comprehend the permeable and unpredictable boundaries within social, economic and political spheres (Sanyal, 2005) and the coevolving, self-organising, emergent yet also adaptive nature as complex systems (de Roo, 2010). Therefore, rather than elaborating on a descriptive explanatory narrative, we aim to uncover differentmodes of understanding of the settlement patterns emerging through urban transformation interventions of the cities that are evolving through above mentioned complex systems. It does this taking Izmir (Turkey) urban region as a case study with respect to various urban transformation  projects and starts with a pilot study to narrow down the potential cases. Later a detailed investigation will be conducted via obtaining documented sources of municipal archives, benefiting from formal and informal interactions with municipal actors. Overall the study follows up three steps of understanding settlements; uncover emergences via outliers through transformation processes; and finally assembling the first two to attain synthesis to unfold the underlying patterns of change.