A Complexity-Cognitive View on Scale in Urban Design

Egbert Stolk, Yuval Portugali

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Urban designers ‘design across scales’, moving between streetscapes, neighborhoods and entire cities or regions. In this paper we study the urban design process from a conjunction between perspective of Synergetic Inter-Representation Network (SIRN) and Construal Level Theory (CLT). The first refers to a sequential process of interaction between internal representations constructed in the mind~brain and external representations (e.g. the design media) constructed in the world; the second refers to the process of abstraction in terms of psychological distance. Our SIRN-CLT view on scale in urban design sheds new light on the relations between the scale of the design object, the design medium and the design process. We show that urban design deals with hybrid large-scale and complex design objects. An example from the domain of urban design is given to illustrate is view.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComplexity, Cognition, Urban Planning and Design
Subtitle of host publicationPost-Proceedings of the 2nd Delft International Conference
EditorsY. Portugali, E.H. Stolk
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-32653-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-32651-1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameSpringer Proceedings in Complexity
ISSN (Electronic)2213-8684


  • Regional/Spatial Science
  • Urban Geography/Urbanism
  • Complexity
  • Urbanism

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A Complexity-Cognitive View on Scale in Urban Design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this