Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/221310
Title: TOWARDS MEGALOPOLIS, A SPONTANEOUS PROCESS OF EMERGENCE
Authors: DU FANGMING
Keywords: Architecture
Design Track
DT
Master
Jeffrey Chan Kok Hui
2012/2013 Aki DT
Arch
Big Data
Emergence
Emergent Design
Infrastructural Urbanism
Megalopolis
Urban Planning
Issue Date: 8-Sep-2014
Citation: DU FANGMING (2014-09-08). TOWARDS MEGALOPOLIS, A SPONTANEOUS PROCESS OF EMERGENCE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: “Megalopolis” is a greek word for a Peloponnesian city founded in 371 BC. It was planned to be the first large scale urbanized city, yet it declined too soon before the idea of a grand city was ever realized. Oswald Spengler in his book “Der Untergang des Abendlandes” (The Decline of the West, 1918) used the term to describe the beginning of overdevelopment urbanization and social decline. Many thus believed that a megalopolis could never be built or planned without facing an increasing severity of social problems and thereafter a fate of collapsing down. It was later in 1957, Jean Gottmann acquired the same word to describe the enormous super “city” resides along the eastern seaboard of the U.S. extending from Boston, Massachusetts through New York City; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland and ending in Washington, D.C. One may argue that this is for now more of a megaregion rather than a megalopolis. Nonetheless we could not ignore the fact this is the dreamed megalopolis in “construction” even without being planned beforehand. Therefore, In this dissertation, I am trying to demonstrate the conjecture that the formation of an enormous megalopolis, an increasingly complex system relies on a spontaneous process of emergence rather than careful, lockstep planning. In retrospective, most urban planning is done in a linear way as to predict the future growth based on the analysis of current variables, yet the city growth may become so fast and so complex that planning becomes sometimes useless and even disastrous1 after a short-time frame. I thus would like to hold the position that planning works best in simple and more basic scale, yet once the system gets too complex to be comprehended, or too dynamic to be deterministically planned in advance, in this case, the megalopolis, a much more desired solution is found with the aid of emergent self-organization. This is not to say that, we ought to leave the design to the force of automation. Instead of an arbitrary or seemingly dogmatic design strategy, an emergent design is proposed in this dissertation. Multiple accounts on how cities grow empirically are knowingly exist, many theorists have compared the modern city to complex systems, likening the city to an ant colony, a swarm system or soft system etc. Yet an account argued based on simulative algorithm is rarer by comparison. This work of mine thus aim to make a contribution to the latter category.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/221310
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Restricted)

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