The objective of this chapter is to show how chaos and complexity theory can be applied to understanding of the dynamics of a city. At first, the changes in the theoretical and practical knowledge that occurred in contemporary philosophical and scientific thought from the end of the nineteenth century, which led to the formulation of the chaos and complexity theory are discussed. The new vision of the world emerging from chaos and complexity theory allows a rapprochement between the two complementary ways of analysis and action: the analytical method, born from the Cartesian method, and the systemic approach, derived from cybernetics and systems theory. Then the characteristics of a complex system are analyzed by referring to the definitions of the main exponents of the discipline, in order to understand if a city can be identified as a complex system. A review of the main theories about complexity of the city is included in order to demonstrate that a city can be considered as a “system” defined by the elements (the various activities and urban functions) and from the interactions and relations between its various components (tangible and intangible communications) that produces hardly detectable effects on all parts of the city. Finally, the systems currently used for the description and the representation of components and relationships of a city intended as a complex system are presented.
I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.