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Complex Urban Futures: Using scenarios to tackle the complexity of megaregional systems

Format: Papers, RSD11, RSD11: Methods and the worlds they make, Topic: Architecture & Planning, Topic: Methods & Methodology

Henry Endemann, Joern Buehring, and Gerhard Bruyns

School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Megaregions represent the massive scale and overwhelming complexity of contemporary urbanisation. This requires new and adapted methods for those designing in and for megaregions. Scenarios are a promising tool for this, but urban designers struggle to use them systematically. Improved and adapted scenario-building methodologies for urban designers are needed. Therefore, this presentation puts forward a framework to reveal and discuss urban complexity through megaregional scenarios. The framework is constituted by three phases: analysis, design, and evaluation, in which the analysis builds the basis for an iterative process of drafting and assessing scenarios. The focus of this presentation is the design phase, which is most relevant for the implementation of systemic design principles. The presentation emphasises the importance of including multiple stakeholders in a design process that triangulates different design methods. It shows tests of the framework in design studios at different universities, in which students translate abstract themes into concrete spatial concepts during playful, intuitive, and fast-paced design sessions. The exploration of various design options across various performance indicators helps to initiate discussions on the complexity and ambiguity of megaregions. While further fine-tuning of the framework is needed, it shows the potential to ultimately support well-informed decision-making in the context of megaregionalisation.

KEYWORDS: complex urban systems, megaregions, scenarios, regional design

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Citation Data

Author(s): Henry Endemann, Joern Buehring, and Gerhard Bruyns
Year: 2022
Title: Complex Urban Futures: Using scenarios to tackle the complexity of megaregional systems
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD11
Article No.: 099
URL: https://rsdsymposium.org/complex-urban-futures
Host: University of Brighton
Location: Brighton, UK
Symposium Dates: October 3–16, 2022
First published: 23 September 2022
Last update: 30 April 2023
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404