Scaling properties of urban systems can be described as very general models of complex systems but also have to be interpreted in terms of societal processes. A geo-historical theory is presented that exemplify the concept of territorial intelligence as multi-scale driving force as well as analytic tool. Urban systems exhibit a hierarchical organisation including three relevant levels of observation: individual actors, cities, and networks or systems of cities. At each level, we identify which actors and major dynamic principles can govern the emergence of a variety of scaling laws as expected from an evolutionary theory of urban systems. We try to specify which consequences for the sustainability of urban systems can be derived from their spatial organisation and socio-historical differentiation, and sustain the concept of the geodiversity of urban systems according to regions of the world.


Denise Pumain

Territorial Intelligence for Multi-level Equity and Sustainability e-session