Consciousness, IMAGINATION, Emotion, urban planning and design

3rd International Complexity Conference – planned for 2018

Emotion and imagination are active forces in (urban) planning and design processes; processes that take place both consciously and unconsciously. The collective result of these processes, the urban environment, trigger various emotional responses and stir up our imagination. From the perspective of Complexity Theories of Cities and cognitive science, the role of consciousness, emotions, and imagination in shaping cities is a relatively unexplored territory. This conference aims to bring together people from various domains, ranging from cognitive scientists, researchers on design thinking, urban planners, and designers.


2nd Delft International Conference – October 2013

The 1st International conference raised some challenges. One of them was the insight that in order to better understand and simulate humans’ behavior in cities a link should be made to cognitive science views on these issues. And in relation to this; to be aware that planning and design are basic cognitive capabilities of humans, that play a role in the complexity of cities. Following this insight, the aim of this 2nd Delft international conference was to create a conversation between people from several disciplines that do not exchange ideas with each other often; namely, between practitioners of Complexity Theories of Cities, cognitive scientists of spatial behavior, researchers of design thinking, urban planners and urban designers.

9783319326511.tifWith contributions from Michael Batty, Efrat Blumenfeld-Lieberthal, Andy Dong, David Eilam, John Habraken, Bill Hillier, Scott Kelso, Stephen Marshall, Han Meyer, Steffen Nijhuis, Gert de Roo, Roni Sela, Ekim Tan, Paul Thagard, Scott Turner, Barbara Tversky, Juval Portugali and Egbert Stolk.

Portugali, J., & Stolk, E.H. (2016). Complexity, Cognition, Urban Planning and Design. Heidelberg: Springer.

Supported by: Delft Infrastructures & Mobility Initiative (DIMI)  & The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences



1st Delft International Conference – September 2009

The 1st Delft International Conference was held in 2009. Together with Juval Portugali and Yulia Kryazheva, Egbert Stolk was part of the organizing committee.

The basic idea of the conference was that ‘Complexity Theories of Cities have come of age’, and that was is time to look back at what has been achieved in the last three decades with sympathy and appreciation, but also with a grain of criticism, and then also to look forward to potentials and challenges that have yet to be materialized and achieved. With respect to the latter, the aim was to focus specifically on urban planning and design—two domains that, while traditionally inseparable from the study of cities, have hardly as yet been examined from the perspectives of complexity and self-organization.

With contributions from: Herman Haken, Michael Batty, Stephen Marshall, Peter M. Allen, Denise Pumain, Stephen Read, Bill Hillier, Jeffrey Johnson, Harry Timmermans, Stephen Marshall, Gert de Roo, Nikos A. Salingaros, Carlos Gershenson, Dirk Sijmons, Han Meyer, Theodore Zamenopoulos, Katerina Alexiou, Michael S Bittermann, Ekim Tan, Egbert Stolk and Juval Portugali.

Portugali, J., Meyer, H., Stolk, E., & Tan, E. (2012). Complexity Theories of Cities have come of age. Heidelberg: Springer.

Supported by: Delft Infrastructures & Mobility Initiative (DIMI)  & The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science



2nd International Conference INTI – October 2007

In October 2007, the International New Town Institute (INTI) organized its second international seminar on new towns in Almere. Egbert was the head of the organizing committee. The theme of this seminar was ‘New Town Simulation’.

imagesWith contributions from: Michelle Provoost (foreword), Kayvan Karimi (Anna Rose, Maximo Martinez, Noah Radford), Juval Portugali, Michael Batty, Hedwig van Delden (Roel Vanhout, Marco te Brommelstroet, Roger White), Harry Timmermans, Sandra Bonfiglioli (Gian Piero, Stefano Stabilini), Reinhard König, Alex Lehnerer, Jose Nuno Beirao (Jose P. Duarte), and Igor Mayer (Geertje Bekeerde, Arthur van Bilsen, Qiqi Zhou).

Book publication: Stolk, E.H. & Brömmelstroet, M. te (2009). Model Town: using urban simulation in new town planning. Amsterdam: SUN.