Unplanning Cities: Finding Order in Chaos

Yasmin Valdez  | 12 de diciembre de 2018  | Vistas: 79

City planning is a process with the purpose of improving the environment, transportation, communication and more, but often the effects of this centralized orders are not positive for the citizens. Nolan Gray presents different types of cities and what makes them great in relation to whether or not to have a centralized order.

Cities are emergent orders that need decentralized planning to function.”

Nolan starts showing different pictures of cities and their characteristics to introduce the topic of order. He also describes the origin of planning and how each element over the course of time became more decentralized. New York and Vancouver are some of the cities that have a more planned environment, causing negative results for people living in areas where new regulations, as well as modifications, were applied.

The nice things about cities when they are relatively free is that a lot of different things can happen, you can try on a variety of businesses, living arrangements, in effect every resident is an entrepreneur.”

Gray comments on the work of Jane Jacobs, a journalist that became interested in understanding all the wrong aspects of planning. He reveals what caused her to get involved with this phenomenon, the method she applied to analyze it, and the movement she started to work against central planning.

Often times people have a variety of different needs and desires, in many cases only they can know that. You can try to aggregate the data but the effective way to access this information is to communicate with people directly or just let them plan their own lives.”

He concludes discussing this emerging centralized system, the consequences and his proposal to have better results with city organization.


City planner at New York City


Nuestra misión es la enseñanza y difusión de los principios éticos, jurídicos y económicos de una sociedad de personas libres y responsables.

Universidad Francisco Marroquín