A Methodology for the Cityscape: The
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
The system is characterized by:
(1) many kinds of elemental units, some
of which can be enumerated;
(2) a fairly large number of these units;
(3) partial relationships-or interactions-existing among the elements and
their definability; and
(4) definability of the stage upon which those relations unfold.
A system with these characteristics is called a "city" here.
A city need not be a "physical entity built on the surface of the
" 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.
What kind of city you get depends on which of these definitions you apply.
Of course, a city is a whole made up of all these characteristics combined.
But, simply putting them together makes the system into a kind of enigmatic
Even if you do not know what the relations are between input and output,
if there are an ample number of tests, certain statistics will appear.
This is the essence of simulation. But that is possible only when you can
evaluate output, which requires that an object of evaluation be selected.
Selection is also removal. And here emerges the scientific method, which
gains results by selecting one thing and removing others.
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.
Criticisms of reductionism that sound valid on the theoretical level immediately
become impotent when attempts are made to create the world they advocate.
You cannot verify anything simply by meditating on it.
On the other hand,
non-reductionist methodology is more like conventional design itself. An
individual brain, a black box, may be made to correspond to the city that
is itself a black box. Using the unfathomable to cope with that which is
beyond comprehension is certainly a clear-cut method.
By this method, the
inspirations of a genius could yield the best possible solutions to our
The dilemma is that it is not easy to decide who displays genius. In assigning
the task of building not just one building but the massive entity of the
city, it is too risky to depend on some kind of game of toss to determine
the difference between genius and insanity.
Obviously, then, a different
method is more desirable for such a project. The analytical evaluation
system might be another possibility, but the city is so complex that such
a method would not be effective.
Since neither approach-the inspiration of genius or the system of analytical
evaluation-is any good, we usually end up going back to conventional methods
for city planning.
Probably the reason neither is any good
is that we try to decide everything about the city all at once.
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 "reading" may be something like the inspirations or brainstorms
of a great master or genius, but what makes it different from such inspirations
is that the results can be reproduced and follow-up tests can be made.
In that sense, the method is scientific.
Roughly speaking, the method will work to substantiate "inspiration."
It will be able to reduce the probability of "inspiration" turning
out to be a failure. The scientific method will come nearer to engineering,
and the great master's art will come closer to science.
The truly effective
methodology for creating cities should lie at their intersection (characteristic
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.
If you try to determine the whole you invariably discover contradictions
These contradictions have to be removed for the sake of the
whole. So, partial adjustments and reorganizations are made. Some are selected
and others are omitted.
The system that results is clear-cut but also monotonous.
The vigor of city is thus lost.
To avoid that, we do not perform an overall adjustment.
A balance for the
whole can be achieved as a result of the combination of partial interactions.
Our approach may be similar to the principles of the biosystem more and
more of which is being understood through research on artificial life.
Living organisms are not governed by a grand designer.
Why does a living
thing maintain integrity despite the absence of a grand designer ?
guarantees its self-organization?
Clues to the answer to these questions
are probably "number" and "overlap of relationships,"
or the requirements defined above under (2) and (3).
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.
eventually acquire a state of deterministic chaos.
The desirable form of the city is simply
Such a goal differs depending on what from you consider
What form you choose varies from one person to another, and
according to the time and the situation the decision is made. Goals are
Shown here in our project are "methods" by which to
materialize a chosen objective.
Methods become meaningful only after they are paired with objectives. In
designing a city, therefore, there need be certain devices besides the
methods presented here.
The device concerns how to set objectives.
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.
This brings us once again back to the topic of design.
Designing is a combination
of endeavors dealing with what can be programmed by computer-that which
is describable-and what cannot be programmed.
Our "Induction Cities"
project seeks to augment the former. The latter is the job of the human
This is where the value of the brain that can conceive images is
A city cannot be designed, as I said at the beginning, and what I mean
is that if it is a city we are talking about the meaning of "design"
has to change.
The design of a city is probably an endeavor at inducing
the spontaneous generation of a city.
That is made possible by brain/computer
collaboration.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.