Emergent Urbanism

Rediscovering Urban Complexity

christopher alexander

The Meaning of Emergent Urbanism, after A New Kind of Science

Stephen Wolfram is celebrating the tenth anniversary of the publication of A New Kind of Science, a milestone in the development of complexity science that is more significant than any other for me, as it was reading through that book in 2007 that gave me the motivation and the sense of purpose to begin writing about urbanism and complexity science.

Emergent Urbanism at the University of Montreal

I was invited to the complex systems laboratory of the Université de Montréal this week to present emergent urbanism to their twenty-member large research group. Click through to SlideShare in order to see the full text of the presentation under the "notes on" tab. The entire text is in French, however I know a significant share of this website's visitors enjoy French once in a while.

Review of Home by Yann-Arthus Bertrand

I often wonder if it would be possible to do any kind of serious study into urban morphology without the help of Google Earth. I know it has been indispensable to my studies, perhaps as indispensable as the microscope is to biologists. Google Earth is our macroscope, it allows us to see what is too large to see with the naked eye.

The Journey to Emergence

This is part I of a series of excerpts of an article to be published in the International Journal of Architectural Research entitled The Principles of Emergent Urbanism. Additional parts will be posted on this blog with the editor's permission until the complete article appears exclusively in the journal's upcoming issue.

Producing land with nested markets

The Poundbury Grid, from Streets and Patterns by Stephen Marshall

The Poundbury Grid, from Streets and Patterns by Stephen Marshall

Complex geometry and structured chaos

Fractal geometry has infiltrated popular culture since it was formalized in the early 80's from the works of Benoit Mandelbrot. While it has been used to study the form of cities by researchers such as Pierre Frankhauser and Michael Batty, the insights to be drawn from this field of mathematics have not yet penetrated the field of urbanism, defined as the construction of cities.

The mathematical definition of a city

20th century professional urbanism is the story of a war on complexity in order to control urbanization.

The modernists rebelled against the "mess" of the city. They put everything in their place. In this square shall be the houses. In that square the offices. In that square the stores. In some form of another, this system, called zoning, is in force over 99% of the American continent. Its main advantage is that it is incredibly lazy.

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