The complexity sciences continue to influence debates, research, and practices in urban planning and governance. Urban systems, e.g. cities and urban regions, can be understood as complex systems, behaving non-linearly and co-evolving with other systems. By now, the number of studies in the realm of the planning and governance of the urban that use concepts and ideas from the complexity sciences has gone up significantly. Naturally, complexity’s increasing popularity also attracts criticism. An often voiced criticism, for instance, is that the applications of complexity in urban planning and governance are little more than semantic novelty. The right response to such criticism is to examine it and to demonstrate that complexity does have utility in the urban planning for the 21st century. Does complexity science live up to its promises? Now that we have been using complexity in urban planning and governance for quite a while, we ought to be able to answer that question.
Therefore, on February 11th-12th, 2016, the Chair for the Governance of Innovative and Complex Technological Systems at the University of Bamberg (Germany) will host the 14th Meeting of the AESOP Thematic Group on Planning and Complexity, where the focus will be on Taking Stock of Complexity Sciences: Evidence of Progress in Urban Planning? Papers are invited that assess the complexity sciences for urban planning and governance, focusing in particular on questions related to: research methods, complexity-friendly governance arrangements, translating complexity to practice, and information technology and planning. The deadline for submitting abstracts is October 1st, 2015. More information is available in the Call for Papers.