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Systems Thinking and Decision Making in Urban and Environmental Planning

Anastássios Perdicoúlis, Engineering Department, UTAD, Portugal, CITTA Research Centre, FEUP, Portugal, and Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development, OBU, UK
In this path-breaking book, Anastássios Perdicoúlis progresses the conception and expression of the planning problem as an ‘extended mental model’. In doing so he concisely expresses the essential elements of strategic planning (conditions, objectives, action) in a visual form which both stimulates and clearly communicates reasoning. As a result, concerns, defined objectives, and corresponding actions are uniquely linked. He goes on to illustrate how the structural and functional organization of the target system extends naturally into the planning process, and how decision-making therefore becomes based on systems learning.
Extent: 192 pp
Hardback Price: $120.00 Web: $108.00
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 978 1 84980 384 7
Availability: In Stock
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  • eISBN: 978 1 78100 086 1

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  • Economics and Finance
  • Environmental Economics
  • Transport
  • Environment
  • Environmental Economics
  • Transport
  • Urban and Regional Studies
  • Transport
  • Urban Studies
Current systems thinking in urban and environmental planning provides ways to consider hidden forces behind both planned and consequential changes, in order that we can express, check, and clarify our mental models of the structure and function of these systems.

In this path-breaking book, Anastássios Perdicoúlis progresses the conception and expression of the planning problem as an ‘extended mental model’. In doing so he concisely expresses the essential elements of strategic planning (conditions, objectives, action) in a visual form which both stimulates and clearly communicates reasoning. As a result, concerns, defined objectives, and corresponding actions are uniquely linked. He goes on to illustrate how the structural and functional organization of the target system extends naturally into the planning process, and how decision-making therefore becomes based on systems learning.

This challenging book will enhance the ability of spatial planners of all levels, especially students and newly qualified professionals, to prepare effective plan proposals. Strategy consultants will also find it a useful tool in preparing improved plan proposals and communicating more effectively with clients. Additionally, the book will assist government bodies to focus on the crux of development problems and reach balanced decisions more quickly. The enhanced problem formulation method presented in this volume is sure to prove an invaluable tool for researchers, students, and consultants in related fields including: operations research, system dynamics, business management, impact assessment, landscape architecture and environmental engineering.
‘Perdicoúlis’s book will serve well as an introductory text in fields of engineering, management and operations research, although not written as a textbook.’
– Tridib Banerjee, Journal of Regional Science

‘Systems Thinking and Decision Making in Urban and Environmental Planning constitutes an excellent, timely and innovative contribution to the planning literature that goes well beyond the classical systems theory. Anastássios Perdicoúlis’ book is enjoyable to read, the technical language, blended with numerous examples and case studies, is well adapted to readers with different backgrounds and experiences, from planning students to professional urban and environmental planners, and the main message is clearly presented. The current non-explicit style of planning practice brings about a number of important weaknesses to the whole planning process. Against this background, the author rightly argues that appropriate actions, the rational behind these actions and the on the ground outcomes have to be disclosed, clearly explained and verified to enable more effective communication and participation of the different stakeholders in decision making.’
– Paulo Pinho, Research Centre for Territory, Transports and Environment, Portugal
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction 2. Systems Thinking 3. Decision Making 4. Diagramming Techniques 5. New Plans 6. Existing Plans 7. Simulations Epilogue Index