"THE INDUCTION CITY" Project: Solution for the Complex Systems of the City
The Undesignable Cityscape: $B!_(BProject Cities
The "induction cities" project began with our conclusion that a city cannot be designed.
With what do you usually associate "city planning"? You may think of sketches of a shining city, the "Tokyo Planning 1960" montages, the maps of a city divided by color according to function, or tables of traffic volume estimates. But all such things are records of results-the picture-perfect completed city, the iconography of the end-result.
How, then, are cities or cityscapes talked about? They are usually perceived
as an accumulation of events, a process of change, the overlapping of fragmentary
sequences, or as existing in media networks or in people's consciousness.
One realizes, however, that such perceptions alone are of little use when
attempting to actually create a cityscape. One easily concludes that a cityscape
is not something that can be created and then returns to descriptions of
perceptions. Nevertheless, while one is doing so, the city keeps on expanding
In a nutshell, no one knows how to create a city/cityscape. Because they do not know, city planners plan the cities according to the textbooks. Building a city should be a project for creating a huge system. They know that something is wrong, but end up giving priority to the existing system over their individual initiative because of the time-consuming and too-minute procedures required for decision making and execution.
What results is the dilemmas we now face.
The reason for the current dilemma is the absence of a method for recognition
of what really needs to be done to be put into practice. What we need is
not critical perceptions of what a city is but a methodology for creating
a city as well as a set of theoretical principles to buttress such a methodology.
We do not need a conceptual drawing of a cityscape at its completion or
legal regulations or programs of events or pocket-sized maps, but a way
of creating a city that embraces the dynamism of the city.
A Methodology for the Cityscape: The Spontaneously-Generated City
The "induction cities" project has two features: it offers
tools for visualization of concepts and provides a methodology for creating
a cityscape. The project we present here emphasizes the latter feature.
In this perspective, a city is viewed as a kind of system.
(1) many kinds of elemental units, some of which can be enumerated;
A system with these characteristics is called a "city" here.
A city need not be a "physical entity built on the surface of the earth."
Whatever conforms to the above-defined characteristics is a city, be that
an actual entity, a computer program, or a set of network relationships.
It is the extended city.
Complex-systems science, which opposes conventional analytical methodology,
or reductionism, inevitably adopts as its specific means the traditional
scientific methods of analysis, hypothesis, and verification.
Probably the reason neither is any good is that we try to decide everything
about the city all at once. In designing a city that is constantly changing
and expanding, it is of little effect to map out only one path or pursue
a deterministic theory as advocated by Newtonian mechanics. What needs to
be determined is not a complete picture or a set of rules governing the
entirety, but the partial interactions among elements (above-defined characteristic
3). Results are obtained by conducting simulations in an adequate number
and volume (characteristic 2), and we must "read" relationships
between the setting and the results.
Our project presents such a methodology. We do not specify what kind
of city will be created using the method. In preparing the program, it is
necessary, of course, to establish criteria for evaluation and decide what
kind of city is a good city. But we do not present evaluation criteria for
the entirety of city. We only define the good qualities of some aspects
of a chosen city.
Small and simple relationships can become complex through their combination. Even a simple relationship involves contradictions. As more and more relationships combine, therefore, they gradually grow intertwined like tangled threads. If you pull the end of one of the threads, you find some unexpected place even more twisted and snarled, and as you try to undo that part, another place grows even more intricately tangled. Relations between the threads are simple enough: they are either intertwined or separate. What is difficult to grasp is their entanglement as a whole. The situation gets even more complicated if the threads are very long or large very large in number. Their relationships eventually acquire a state of deterministic chaos.
The desirable form of the city is simply an alternative. Such a goal
differs depending on what from you consider desirable. What form you choose
varies from one person to another, and according to the time and the situation
the decision is made. Goals are adaptable. Shown here in our project are
"methods" by which to materialize a chosen objective.
Objectives are images, and images are generated by the imagination. Imagination
has the power to conceive a city not yet in existence, even before all simulations
and all programs. It is a feat best performed by the human brain, not computers.
There is more than one ideal city. Probably there are as many ideal cities as there are human brains. The eleven cities proposed below are some of them.
Makoto Watanabe, architect (head of Architects' Office)
Takenobu Kitade and Fumiko Miijima (Yokohama National University graduate course completed); Norihiko Obata, Fumi Takahashi, Yoko Hino, Masato Hirakawa, Akiko Hirose, and Reo Yoshida (Yokohama National University graduate student[s] M2); Junko Akamatsu, Yuko Oto, Shugo Ishii, Kohei Takara, and Takakuni Yukawa (Yokohama National University graduate course completed); and Yasuhiro Nakano (Architects' Office)
|References||1995||'To find a free order in housing design, using computer simulation' 5266|
|1996||'Induction cities: accessibility and fun to walk -using computer programs' 5239|
|1997||'On Demand City: planning of functions, -using computer programs' 5283|
|1997||'To find a free order in housing design, using computer simulation2' 5284|
|(Papers presented to the Architectural Institute of Japan Annual Meeting)|