Landscape

Free traffic of energy is a matter of technique. If it is technically spoken possible, every person is able to produce and deliver energy to the net. The energy needs to be produced at a local level. Landscapes and buildings need to be adjusted to make this production possible. Would a same reasoning be possible for the adjustment of landscapes and building to the effects of climate change?

Then, a platform for exchange of measures, which increase the adaptive capacity of a certain area, needs to be installed. This platform functions as the place where contributions and withdrawals of adaptive capacity can be exchanged. The contributions can be done individually or collectively at a sub-regional level, for instance by a regional arrangement of citizens, companies and governments. Important is that a free exchange takes place and money is not the driving force. If collectively a water storage basin is created in a certain area or other measures are taken to minimise the effects of climate change the adaptive capacity of this area is increased. Others will profit from this and will contribute at their turn to increase the quality of the landscape or provide enough cooling capacity in the city by planting trees or create ponds. The exchange of measures at area level develops, which results in a climate proof region and enforces the development of new landscapes. This is profitable for everyone. The types of measures with the highest value are those measures, which are successful at the place where they are taken, but also are capable of changing an entire region (Roggema, 2008c).

8.3 Challenges of Complexity in Planning

Current planning methods are being challenged by several developments in society. Society itself is changing from an industrial society towards an Internet society (Toffler, 2006). Beside the changes in society, the same society is confronted with more and more turbulent circumstances. Uncertainty about the future is increased by long-term changes that are ahead of us. Climate change and energy supply are two important examples of this. The current planning system creates an end-image of the future in which current problems are solved. But this way of planning no longer satisfies, because the problems we face today are complex and long-term oriented. The question is if current planning systems contribute to the building of resilience into society or that another planning system is needed to do so. Planning has the assignment to react to the uncertain developments of the future and has to contribute to the generation of resilient communities. The theory on complex adaptive systems may help planning to adjust itself to the new questions and to give answers to these new challenges. A new planning paradigm might emerge. This chapter elaborates on the theoretical background of increasing complexity in planning.

8.3.1 A Society in Turbulent Circumstances

Today's society is confronted with an increasing turbulent environment. Emery and Trist (Emery & Trist, 1965) describe turbulent environments as follows: 'the dynamic properties arise not simply from the interaction of the component organisations, but also from the ground itself. The "ground" is in motion'. Translated to the spatial planning field, the spatial elements or components (buildings, infrastructure and people) do not only interact and form a system together, but dynamic properties also arise from the ground itself. Literally: from the soil, the natural system itself. This natural system is currently influenced, and will be in the future, by a mass depletion of fossil energy resources, a relatively rapid climate change and a transformation to an Internet economy. These 'external' factors and 'inclusive'

properties of the natural system itself, cause a turbulent environment for the spatial system. The energy supply system, climate change and the Internet-economy have similar characteristics. They:

• Are complex and difficult to overview and understand at once;

• Include lots of uncertainties;

• Are strongly interrelated with other functions and with each other;

The fact that these phenomena are difficult to understand also implies a new environment for spatial planning practice. The unpredictability of interrelated long-term developments leads to a decreasing grip of the planning system on future developments, because traditional planning methods (blueprints, short-time oriented) are no longer useful (Roggema, 2008c).

Thus, the new demands are difficult to integrate in spatial planning practice (Fig. 8.4). The planning system is too stiff and not easy adjustable. To increase the flexibility of the spatial system theory on complex adaptive systems may be used. The objective is that the resilience of the spatial system increases in order to deal with unexpected and unpredictable developments. The resilience of the spatial can be defined using the ecological definition of resilience: The capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganise while undergoing change so as to still retain essentially the same function structure, identity and feedbacks (Walker, et al., 2004). The Groningen case (Chapter 2) shows a method and the first results how resilience can be improved.

In this paragraph a short description of the changes in society is presented. The way these changes malfunction in the current planning system and the way today's planning community deals with this increasing gap will be explored. Furthermore, the theoretical background on complex adaptive systems is researched and used to design a new planning paradigm, which is better prepared to deal with turbulent circumstances.

8.3.2 Internet-Economy: The Turbulence Driver

In the Internet-economy, people are no longer only consumers of news, adds or products, but they become also a generator of information and are able to deliver to the Internet in order to share their deliveries with others (Bakas, 2005; 2006; NRC Next, 2007; Eye Magazine, 2007). This free space of exchange, where every consumer is also a producer, could influence the spatial design of regions. Society is transforming from an industrial economy, based on power and position, towards an Internet economy, based on values and knowledge (Toffler, 2006; Greenfield, 2003). The impact individual people or collectives of individuals generate to (trans) form society, just starts to become visible, but will increase in the near future (Roggema, 2008b), when a landscape 2.0 could emerge. The following transformations can be seen already:

Regular planning process

Regular planning process

Fig. 8.4 Comparison of a tame planning process and a wicked one, in which is more room for turbulent adjustments (Roggema, 2008d)

• It is no longer useful to create an end-image of a society, constructed by politicians and used to determine how people behave. People need to be seduced to change or show certain behaviour. Society emerges as a result of the interactions and summed up behaviour;

• Climate change is an illustration of how an increasing series of complex interactions lead to problems, which occur and become apparent at a later stage. The exact relations between interactions and effects are impossible to overview by individuals;

• The new economy is a connection of people, ideas and information. In this new economy flexible network organisations take over. In this new world it is more important to be a connector of knowledge than an owner of goods. Possession is not the key factor. The key factors are the immaterial additions to the network and the exchange of information;

• When the transition to an Internet-economy is used to understand future changes caused by climate change and energy supply, new landscapes lie in front of us. It is no longer only possible to consume landscape for living, enjoying or production it can also deliver climate resilience and supply energy to the spatial environment.

• People add individual elements to a bigger world, knowing - partly unconsciously - that they are part of a system, built out of billions of parts and consisting of unpredictable interactions. They realise that it is impossible to single-handedly create one future state of society. They know that individual contributions and interactions form the future. While it seems that people are only concerned about their short-term happiness, look at the way they vote for instance, yet their inside voice tells them that they are constantly shaping the future in a way that is difficult to understand.

These changes in society offer a chance to adapt more easily to climate change, because large groups of people intend to work together, not in a power based way, but based on the contribution of values. This state of mind opens views to a stronger built society than the hierarchical one, because people are no longer just consuming energy or political messages, but they start to produce them their selves and start to contribute. Instead of a one-way society a 'both ends' society is emerging.

8.3.3 The State of Today's Spatial Planning Practice

Climate change is a long-term development. Starting today, the changes will continue for the next century and beyond. Building houses and generating urban patterns are processes with a similar time span: they also last 100 years or more. Thus, in theory, it should be easy to combine and integrate long-term changes and developments with spatial planning. In practice however, spatial planning mostly fixes its horizon on a period of maximal ten years (Fig. 8.1). This short-term focus in a situation, where long-term changes are predicted creates unnecessary difficulties. Although it is relatively easy to incorporate long-term changes into the spatial planning system, the issues of climate change and energy supply are only rarely found in current spatial plans.

The spatial planning system that is used today is not very flexible. Current problems are analysed and formulated in quantitative terms as much as possible: number of houses, acres of land for new industrial areas, needed area for ecological structures etcetera. Once the decision is made the size of developments and the objectives are fixed. This may be called a tame planning method, in which rationality and a normative approach is dominant. Conklin (Conklin, 2001) characterises tame problems as follows:

• Relatively well-defined and stable problem statement;

• Definite stopping point, i.e. we know when the solution is reached;

• Solution can be objectively evaluated as being right or wrong;

• A problem belongs to a class of problems which can be solved in a similar way;

• Solutions, which can be tried and abandoned.

Because the focus is on the first couple of years, it is difficult to include long-term and complex elements into the planning process. This causes a laborious adjustment of turbulence matter in the tame planning methods. To incorporate the turbulent environment into a spatial planning method an adjusted method (Fig. 8.4) must be developed, in which room is created for a wicked (as the opposite of tame) bypass (Roggema, 2008d). If this bypass is included in the process, these turbulent environments are given the surroundings in which they fit: irrational, unsolvable problems are placed into a wicked process.

Rittel and Webber characterise wicked problems by ten characteristics (Rittel and Webber, 1973):

1. There is no definite formulation of a wicked problem;

2. Wicked problems have no stopping rules;

3. Solutions to wicked problems are not true or false, but better or worse;

4. There is no immediate and ultimate test of a solution to a wicked problem;

5. Every solution to a wicked problem is a 'one-shot operation'; because there is no opportunity to learn by trial-and-error, every attempt counts significantly;

6. Wicked problems do not have an enumerable (or an exhaustively describable) set of potential solutions, nor is there a well-described set of permissible operations that may be incorporated in the plan;

7. Every wicked problem is essentially unique;

8. Every wicked problem can be considered to be a symptom of another {wicked} problem;

9. The causes of a wicked problem can be explained in numerous ways. The choice of explanation determines the nature of the problem's resolution;

10. (With wicked problems) the planner has no right to be wrong.

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