Chapter 9 Self-organization in complex urban systems
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Urban theory is reinterpreted within the framework of the theory of complexity, the initial stage of which argues that self-organized structure emerges in entropic systems when they are stressed to perform useful work. Space is patterned and rhythmic interactions and behaviors emerge in time. If stress increases the rhythms become irregular and the systems chaotic; seemingly random outcomes emerge when the causal mechanisms are deterministic nonlinear. Any semblance of coherency vanishes when there are further increases in stress; chaos gives way to turbulence, the hallmark of complexity. Most urban theorizing deals with the pre-chaotic. Only recently has attention been paid to fully developed complexity, chaos, and the forms of self-organized order that motivate this theory.

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