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Chaos...

Sarin

Member
Messages
6
Points
0
Dear all....

I am doing some research on chaos theory and urban design and would appreciate any if anyone could guide me to others doing similar work, and/or papers i could look at.

Thanks....
__________________
Be non-linear !
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
OK....could someone please explain chaos theory?? Is that like rioting or something?

Excuse me for my ignorance.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
35
I'm not at all sure how Chaos theory would ever relate to urban design. Unless it is at a very macro level...

Sarin - can you provide some more detail on what your project is? That might help us to help you.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
my 2C

Sarin - Isn't that a nerve agent or a hot Vulcan Space Babe in the second movie with the first cast? And I see a hard link between elemental chaos theory and the movement patterns of people, and transportation but no link with planning because that acts as a negaitve filter.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
Re: my 2C

El Guapo said:
Sarin - Isn't that a nerve agent?
It's what they hit the subway in Tokyo with a few years back. And what was supposed to be used in the original WTC bombing but the bomb was rigged wrong and burnt it all up.

Chaos Theory?? Anyone?? Bueller? C'mon, someone help me out here.
 

Wannaplan?

Galactic Superstar
Messages
3,149
Points
27
Sarin,

Chaos theory... hmmm, perhaps you are referring to Game Theory? Game Theory is applicable to urban planning when it analyzes the decisions of decision-makers and the resulting outcomes of those decisions. When I was an undergrad, way back in 1993, I took an intro to planning course. Basically, the course was a survey of all things applicable to the world of city planning. We had a lecture and a lab that covered Game Theory. I loved the lab because the Teaching Assistant assigned roles to certain students, and we had to make decsions, like siting a landfill, and he had a pro and a con team. Anyway, he had a framework, a simulation of sorts, that processed the pro team's decsions and the con's team decisions. The two outcomes were completely different! I was impressed by this pedagological tool... showed me the impact of decisions on the everyday world. The point I'm trying make is that I am sure there is plenty in the academic literature regarding Game Theory. I would imagine Sim City is a huge Game Theory engine.
 

Sarin

Member
Messages
6
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0
Hi all.... veryyy perceptive, Sarin WAS the nerve agent used in the Tokyo attack.... but hey, that's my name,

It is true that Game theory relates to urban planning and has been used for modelling the Sim City engine.... however...

Chaos Theory relates to Urban Design, at a micro-as well as macro level... that is the ROOT of the theory anyway....

am a bit muddled and trying to tear away the cobwebs...

cheers
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
35
Sarin - you're not exactly helping us here. Could you give us an explanation as to the work you're doing? I'm a little weak on Chaos theory, and even weaker on how it would relate to urban design. Plannning I could see...by design? Isn't the whole idea of design the opposite of chaos?
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
Well in math chaos is where something starts out to progress in a set pattern, and over time small mutations or changes start to happen till you get a vastly diffrent outcome that would have been expected.

for example look at an echer (sp?) drawing and what seems to start out as a nice set of say polygons becomes lizards over time.

Am I on the right track with chaos theory?

If its what im thinking of its used a lot in physics and such.

D
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
PlannerGirl said:
for example look at an echer (sp?) drawing and what seems to start out as a nice set of say polygons becomes lizards over time.
D
Like this?
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
lol no not like that the more basic prints. anyway i found something that might be of help

http://www.imho.com/grae/chaos/chaos.html

http://archnet.org/institutions/CSBE/library/publications/publication.tcl?publication_id=1671

http://www.sdu.dk/TVF/StatDem/People/yousefi.html

http://members.tripod.com/~ElizBrunner/Scholar/GordimerOne.htm


ok i had it backwards-its taking random things and finding the point where it starts to add up-like finding a repeating number in Pi.

Good luck, too geeky for my little brain
 

Wannaplan?

Galactic Superstar
Messages
3,149
Points
27
Upon further reflection, I have my doubts on the applicability of chaos theory on urban design. I assume chaos theory refers to random and undirected actions within a system, and in planning, design, and city growth, decisions are being made all the time. Although what you see may seem random and undiredted, the fact remains that officials, developers, etc are always making decisions. If no one made decisions and if buildings just popped up out of nowhere naturally, then I could see how chaos theory could be applied.
 

GeekyBoy

Cyburbian
Messages
41
Points
2
In certain examples of Chaos Theory, unpredictable, chaotic results are generated from very simple equations (for examples, read "Chaos" by Gleick - probably available at the local library)

So, at the very least, in an analogy, current land use planning/design principles can also generate unpredicable and unexpected results.

GB
 

Sarin

Member
Messages
6
Points
0
Hmm,,,, thanks for the interest....

Ok, let me give u guys an eg...

a balloon vendor decides to set up shop at say, x-corner on Q St... it a decision he makes after some thought, presumably... an official grants him the permission... it a decision he makes after some thought, presumably...

In terms of Chaos Theory, look at the vendor as a Fractal, a self-defined -perfectly synchronous being/element/object...

As a result of his setting up shop, little girls start to gather around the corner every week-day after school .. after 2 weeks, little boys start hanging around there as well, ... another delta-period, an ice cream vendor, seeing the youth-interest, applies for permission.... (do u see where this is going ?) ... till we come to a time when a bank wants to open its HQ on THAT particular corner....(say)restaurants, etc...

this is one way that development could go.... there is another picture that can be painted, much less pleasant, with the same initial conditions.... (a balloon vendor decides to set up shop at say, x-corner on Q St... )

I am trying to develop a model to understand urban growth and development, to analyse it and identify determinants of chaos....and yes, every decision IS taken after initial thought and due dilligence by concerned parties....

anyone with interest along similar line and/or the theory in particular may please join forces with me, would love to exchange ideas....

hope this helps...
 

Sarin

Member
Messages
6
Points
0
sorry to dissapoint u, ..... not true in the least...

i am an architect with experience in project development, the profession (of developers) would not even exist if what u say is true....
 

perryair

Cyburbian
Messages
41
Points
2
I did a bit of reading up on Chaos theory a few years ago, it seems like a very interesting field. Maybe there may be some research on Chaos theory pertaining to the Broken Window Theory?

http://www.thinksmart.com/mission/book_reviews_wycoff.html
http://www.calstate.edu/newsline/02-03/020805-Sac.shtml

Also as it pertains to development, maybe try looking at places that either have lax zoning laws or have cramped quarters, forcing very compact zoning areas (Key West comes to mind), and how particular business placement decisions affects future placement of properties?

on that note, maybe you can tie the historic placement of retail/commercial districts to the results of some sort of original chance decision(s)?
 

Sarin

Member
Messages
6
Points
0
Thanks for the tips...

what u say has a lot of merit, but i am also trying to develop a theory/tool to analyse the phenomenon, the past as well as the future....

if u don't mind too much, will u tell me more about urself and ur interests...

cheers !
 

bethd

Member
Messages
1
Points
0
hello sarin and others,

chaos theory and urban design sounds like an intriguing idea to pursue - although i'm more familiar with complex systems theory and self-organizing/self-producing systems theory, which i apply to planning more generally...

for those unfamiliar with the notion of 'chaos' some of the confusion (such as arose in the discussion above) can be sorted out by differentiating between 1) good old ordinary random chaos and 2) the deterministic chaos of chaos theory

the latter refers to results or behaviours that appear 'chaotic' but which arise from the application of a simple set of rules - despite the seeming 'chaos', the results/behaviours are deterministic: if you applied the same rules to *exactly* the same initial conditions, you would get the same result (would i be annoying if i emphasized *exactly* again? but the initial conditions have to be *EXACTLY* the same...) - the catch is that its rare to have *EXACTLY* the same initial conditions
- the crucial point from chaos theory, then, is that although the results/behaviours (in those situations taken to be chaotic) are *determined* by the rules, they are *indeterminable* in the sense that they cannot be predicted or forcast

in general terms, this leads to the familiar notion that small changes can lead to big changes, which was popularized (through the development of chaos theory) as the butterfly effect (a butterfly flapping its wings in one region can influence the weather in a far away place... one of the links referred to above has a bit more on this...) - of course it is also important to recognize that small changes can also lead to *small* changes... - and (as a colleague of mine points out) the context the butterfly is flapping in also makes a difference - the point is that you can't tell what is going to happen from application of the rules...

personally, i think this sounds a lot like planning and urban design!! so it seems to me that this is definitely worth exploring - for example:
- i wonder about the similar sets of 'rules' that are applied in urban design and the variety of 'results' that ensue...
- why something that 'works' in one place turns into a disaster somewhere else...
- one might wonder about the fractal (self-similar) nature of sub-divisions or strip malls...
- is the seemingly random vissicitude of strip mall success an expression of deterministic chaos rather than 'poor planning'?
- if things are chaotic is there ever a hope of planning? [which, before anybody gets too excited, i dont think means we shouldn't plan, but this leads to another discussion...]
- do strange attractors mean that you might be able to project some likely occurrance at a macro level but not be able to say anything about what it might look like on a micro level? [although i'd caution two things: 1) the 'macro' level mentioned may just be the unpredictable 'micro' level of another strange attractor... 2) ultimately, i think we are talking about a heuristic, which may provide a tool for understanding, but doesn't provide 'truth'... which also leads to another discussion...]

it may be obvious, but is also likely worth noting that not all (simple) rule sets lead to chaotic results/behaviours...
- so there is then a question about what are the characteristics that lead to 'chaos' and how you might tell if they are present in any paritcular situation... (i'd suggest complexity as key...)

I also note with respect to your example of the baloon seller that there is a difference between chaos and positive feedback, which is where an output (the girls gathering) is fed back into the system in a manner that subsequently enhances the output - i wonder if that is an example of positive feedback...?

anyways, I could go on with more, but figure i've probably written too much already - i just wanted to add some clarification about chaos and another opinion about its possible applicability...

as far as people working on what you are working on sarin, i'm not too sure, in part because i'm not sure where you are going with it and, as noted, i'm more familiar with complexity and self-organization (which also build, to some degree, on chaos)
- as to references, i'm a phd student and read much for my comprehensive exam - some reference lists are still posted on my web-site under research interests (www.fes.uwaterloo.ca/u/mbldemps/web/) - including one for planning and one for systems - you might find something useful, however, I have not yet found much recent work relating the two, instead, much of what is there is the control-oriented paradigm of the 60s and 70s - the only thing that comes most readily to mind is Peter Allen (self-organizing systems and urban planning) - you might also find F. Cramer and K. Mainzer who write generally about chaos and complexity of interest, although I don't offhand remember if either gets around to planning although they do cover social systems... - even more recently there have been a few other more generic social applications (some edited collections) using chaos theory as well as complex systems theory, but I don't remember them at the moment so will look them up and come back... you might also find that business management is another area where people are applying these ideas in a differently, but potentially transferrable manner..

i'd be interested in hearing more about what you are thinking/doing - as well as anybody else's response to these notions...

beth
 

Sarin

Member
Messages
6
Points
0
Chaos ...

Thanks for the post, and for clearing up the air a bit...
there is a fundamental issue that I need to get across to just about anybody before i can even begin to explain myself, sadly, this point (the one I am about to raise) negated the role of physical design substantially... : (

All research into chaos/game theory/urban design/planning has always focussed on the physical aspects of change (and whyever not?) It was repetedly pointed out to me that chaos is not applicable in the context, since each and every element of design has a coherent (!!) thought process behind it. There is always a conscious decision making process at work. True. Most people try to find a fractal in the element of the physical environment ... geometric in nature.

The argument then becomes .. if a fractal is a self-similar, self defined, whole entity, is not the 'decision' made after the 'coherent' process a fractal? If it is, and it influences the physical environment, then in fact, non-geometric fractals define geometric patterns in city and the physical nature....

Tell me what you guys think on this...

gaurav
 
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