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Worlds Lost and Found: Regional Science Contributions in Support of Collective Decision-Making for Collective Action

  • Kieran P. DonaghyEmail author
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Abstract

In this chapter I present a survey of contributions made by regional scientists in recent decades that provide capacity to spatial planners and urban designers to engage in collective decision-making and design leading to collective action by bringing into view relevant aspects of the world – as it is and as it could be. I begin by identifying critical features of analytical frameworks intended to support collective decision-making for collective action. I then offer an argument for why we need a more complete ontology than what has traditionally been invoked in spatial planning and discuss the sophisticated ontology in the planning data model of Lewis Hopkins, Nikhil Kaza, and Varkki George Pallathucheril. Noting that this ontology is noncommittal on underlying social behavior, I further discuss contributions from behavioral economics that might be integrated into Hopkins et al.’s framework and illustrate from the work of Yannis Ioannides how the determination of social structure in space can be endogenized. While acknowledging that the framework of Hopkins et al. supports analyses of transition paths to alternative futures, I argue for formalizing analyses of subjunctive reasoning, drawing on an important but neglected contribution by Walter Isard and Blane Lewis. I then proceed to a discussion of causal analysis in general that draws on the work of Nancy Cartwright and consider an example of how such analysis can be conducted in the planning support system of Brian Deal, Haozhi Pan, Stephanie Timm, and Varkki Pallathucheril. In the chapter’s final substantive section, I briefly consider how Michael Batty is modeling collective decision-making in urban design.

Keywords

Social ontology Behavioral economics Social interactions Possible worlds Spatial planning Collective action 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of City and Regional PlanningCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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