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Responding to a complex world: explorations in spatial planning

Chettiparamb, A. ORCID: (2019) Responding to a complex world: explorations in spatial planning. Planning Theory, 18 (4). pp. 429-447. ISSN 1741-3052

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/1473095218820554


This article discusses three aspects in relation to complexity theory. First, from an understanding of time and space specificities in the rise of theories, it discusses the wider socio-political reasons that may account for the rise of Complexity Theory and its interest for planners today. The rise of the third sector in governance; the decentralisation of the nation state; the rise of informality; the exponential rise of information and knowledge in every sphere of human and non-human activity and the rise of new normative ideologies are argued to provide the social context for interest in Complexity Theory. Second, this article positions complexity theory within general social science theories and argues that complexity theory best suits the second order realm of social science theorisation. Third, this article positions complexity theory within planning theory and suggests that complexity theorists within planning might engage with the theory in three ways. These are by suggesting new ways of ordering of society and space by configuring or re-configuring planning systems in the first order; unravelling new opportunities for actors to work in society and space with largely self-organised entities and finally by searching for and discovering new dynamics for systems in the first order in society and space.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > Real Estate and Planning
ID Code:80887


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