Guiding urban self-organization: Combining rule-based and case-based planning

J. Partanen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In cities, positive self-organization, reflecting the preferred pattern formation resulting from dissipative decision making of activities, is a key promoter of urban dynamics. The urban planning system is limited in recognizing it, but planners adapt to these autonomous processes by deviating from the plan. The result is a dual system of rules and systematic exceptions, which lacks the ability to steer and evaluate the overall direction of urban progress. Similar yet explicit dual problem-solving procedures of statutory rule frameworks and adaptations applying previous cases are common in many fields. Applying this multi-disciplinary knowledge, I propose a dual, computation-supported planning procedure combining rule-based and case-based reasoning. Such planning could respond to urban self-organization, while guiding urban dynamics in a consistent manner. The operation of this coupled system is illustrated using the empirical example of Lielahti, a mixed-use working place district in the Finnish city of Tampere in an exploratory manner.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2399808319893687
Pages (from-to)304-320
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Self-organization
  • urban planning
  • rule-based planning
  • case-based planning
  • cities


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