Symposium K. Urban Systems Research

Chairs: J. Alexander Schmidt and Christian Walloth, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

Call for papers

Cities are complex systems of systems. The societal, economic, ecological, technological and political systems are tightly interconnected in the urban system of the city. Urban systems research does thus involve a broad range of cross-disciplinary science. Approaches based on systems theories seem to be predestinated for such cross-disciplinary research. Methods applied to understand urban systems reach from system dynamics models to soft systems approaches and agent based modeling.

This symposium aims at a reflection on different systems approaches in urban systems studies. Using various approaches, scientists as well as practitioners try to understand urban systems, hoping at best to evaluate the system’s potential reaction on planned interventions, e. g. policies, let alone a forecast of its behavior. How do these various approaches perform? How exactly do they capture the complexity of the urban system? Which untapped potentials do still lay in the systems approaches? How can they bridge research and policy making, scientists and decision makers? …?

The symposium will present a mix of invited and selected papers and engage the audience in discussions and a workshop. We welcome your contributions on topics laying within or extending the above mentioned scope of the symposium.


Sesion 1: Paper Session “Generative, evolutionary and people centered urban design”, Chair: J. Alexander Schmidt
  • Introduction by Prof. Schmidt
  • Caterina Padoa-Schioppa: Elsewhere city: Mapping and Diagrams as generative tools in urban design
  • Tom Kauko: An Evolutionary Approach to Real Estate Analysis

Session 2: Paper Session “Uncertainty, emergence and cultural representation of urban systems”, Chair: Christian Walloth

  • Rüdiger Schultz: “… the Real Problem”: Optimization under Uncertainty
  • Rainer Zimmermann & Silvia Mazzini: The City as Emergent Computational System
  • Jens Gurr: “Urban Complexity” from a Cultural Studies Perspective
  • Prabir Mukhopadhyay et al.: Systems ergonomics analysis of a women special bus in India
Session 3: Paper Session “Urban system modeling”, Chair: R. Schultz
  • Aimen Remida:  Towards a system theoretical methodology for using agent-based technology in modeling complex urban logistics systems
  • Ernst Gebetsroither: Experiences from Multi-Paradigm Simulation approaches and how this can support Urban Planning Decisions
  • Christian Walloth: An Approach to Advance Urban System Modeling
  • J. Alexander Schmidt: Closing remarks to the paper sessions, outlook to the panel discussion
Session 4: Panel discussion “System approaches in complex cities”, Chair: J. Gurr (to be confirmed)
  • Panel discussion part 1: Applying system approaches in complex cities
  • Panel discussion part 2: State of complex urban system research and practice,
  • Conclusion and outlook