Cities, complexity and beyond

Juval Portugali*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The discussion in this chapter commences by following the evolving ideas of the general notion “complex system” and the way they were applied to complexity theories of cities (CTC) - a domain of research that applies the various theories of complexity to the study of cities, their planning and design. Then, the chapter suggests going beyond the current state of cities and complexity by acknowledging that cities have their own uniqueness and intellectual history. This implies treating cities as hybrid complex systems composed of artifacts which are simple systems and urban agents which are complex systems, taking into consideration the cognitive capabilities of urban agents, elaborating ‘small data’ in addition to ‘big data’, and, making links not only to the quantitative tradition in the study of cities, but also to their hermeneutic, social theory oriented, traditions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook on Cities and Complexity
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781789900125
ISBN (Print)9781789900118
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021


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