Science, Complexity and Emotions: Proposals for a New Urban Sociology

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 16:45
Location: Hörsaal 15 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
The bursting of Spanish housing bubble introduced a practical problem in public policies, in people lives and in technical and scientific approach to town planning. This particular case calls to a paradigm shift. Several factors have triggered this need: the economic crisis, the establishment of a new "meta-value", sustainability, a growing demand for greater citizen participation and control of intervention activity in the city, as well as a revision of complexity and emotions. Recent political arguments are supported in technical and scientific considerations that reject the emotions and usually the complexity of the issue. Power, science and responsibility are needed to go through the objectivism of the arguments that dropped into the economic and social crisis.

This paper proposes a theoretical approach to this political issue. We have to take into account all urban aspects, not only physical reality and regulations, but the citizens, the social processes, changes and problems of cities and urban areas. This vision will provide us inputs for new planning practices and policies. However, we need to review the theoretical perspective. The paradigm shift in urban planning needs a multidisciplinary work, the management of a holistic, complex and systemic view of the city, not only as building and society, but also relations, environment and economy. In these days we need working teams capable of providing global solutions, and they are therefore crucial for leaders with vision and appropriate training to face the complexity of the urban reality and develop unified strategies of intervention.

The demanded complex view of the city has to consider emotions and feelings of the social actors. Professional teams and leaders involved in urban matters should develop methodology to include these key concepts in the way through the paradigm shift.