Cecchini, Arnaldo and Trunfio, Giuseppe Andrea (2007) Supporting urban planning with cage: a software environment to simulate complex systems. Advances in Complex Systems, Vol. 10 (suppl. 2), p. 309-325. eISSN 1793-6802. Article.
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The planning process is a multiactor, multilevel process, and the techniques we need for it must be suitable for all the protagonists involved. Moreover, the difficulty in dealing with the complexity of urban systems and the related difficulty of analyzing and forecasting are twofold: one kind of difficulty lies in the complexity of the system itself, and the other is due to the actions of actors, which are "acts of freedom." Correspondingly, the process of urban planning requires a set of techniques and models that have proved to be of great potential for management of communication, participation, consensus-building and system' simulation. In this paper, we describe the peculiarity of the articulated set of tools that should be used to support planning, allowing the setting up and management of processes of participation and communication tailored to the needs of specific projects — a set of friendly tools that make the relationship between technicians, clients and users effective and efficacious. Following this discussion we present a very flexible software environment based on cellular automata (Cellular Automata General Environment — CAGE) that can be used to simulate planning decisions and can be coupled with other modules dealing with the "social side" of complexity.
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