Information adaptation as the link between cognitive planning and professional planning

Juval Portugali*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

5 Scopus citations


Cities are hybrid complex systems composed, on the one hand, of artifacts which are essentially simple systems, while, on the other, of human agents which are by their nature complex systems. It is the human agents that by means of their behavior and action make cities complex. In order to understand the way human agents act and behave in cities we have to consult the cognitive science which emerged in the mid-1950s as the science of mind, brain and body, and their interrelations. When we consult the cognitive science, we realize that there are two forms of planning associated with the dynamics of cities: cognitive planning as a basic cognitive capability of humans and thus of urban agents, referring to planned activities each urban agent executes in daily life; and professional–institutional planning referring to governmental attempts to regulate the dynamic of cities for the citizens’ better good and well-being. Looking at the two from the perspective of information adaptation it is shown, first, how the two are interwoven with each other in a kind of circular causality. Second, that this play between them is central to the dynamics of cities as complex systems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook on Planning and Complexity
Subtitle of host publicationResearch Handbooks in Planning
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781786439185
ISBN (Print)9781786439178
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020


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