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Direct democracy as the keystone
of smart city governance as a
complex system
Claude Rochet 1,
Amine Belemlih 2
1 Professe...
Abstract
 We consider the smart city not as an addition of
« smarties » (technological devices) but as
system capable of ...
What a smart city can’t be
 A collection of « smarties »
 A techno centric city
 A city without past
 A deterministic ...
Middle age cities were smart: organic
development, common good, synergies between
economic activities
25/08/2016
Common go...
Top down mono functional city
25/08/2016
Togliatti (Russia):
Monocities have
turned to be an
obstacle to growth
in Russia,...
A (really) smart city is an
emerging ecosystem
 Smart city framework= A great number of interactions between people x
con...
A smart city is an integration of
two kinds of systems
25/08/2016
Hard systems may
be modeled thanks
to the laws of
physic...
Cities scaling laws
25/08/2016
Densité
Potentiel
d’interconnexions
Y=x2 Loi de Metcalfe
But…..
Distance
Interconnexionsrée...
Combining these laws:
25/08/2016
Size x Number of cities
Connectionsxwealth
New town
Clustering medium size
cities
New tow...
Urban dynamics: from neo
cybernetics to autopeosis
 First order cybernetics (Forrester):
 The city as a self regulating ...
Good and bad complexity
25/08/2016
At a certain point growing
complexity produces
more negative than
positive externalitie...
A quasi zero order cybernetics
unable to self regulate
25/08/2016EGPA UTRECHT
First order cybernetics city
25/08/2016
The myth of the
super mind and
perfect control
EGPA UTRECHT
Autopoeisis: Why and How?
 An autopoeitic system is “”a network of processes
of production (transformation and destructio...
Autopoeisis: Why and How?
Autopoeisis makes the system able to face
with the rapid changing of the environment:
“"This ge...
Autopeoietic system integration works bottom-up
based on “ordinary actions of the people”
25/08/2016
NO! An evolutionary
p...
Why do we need strong citizen based
interactions within a system? (1)
 Economy:
 An economic structure based on synergie...
 Resilience:
 A smart city is a highly internally connected facing with a
turbulent environment, that challenges its res...
Why do we need strong citizen based
interactions within a system? (3)
 Citizen is at the interface of technological devic...
Direct democracy has a strong
record in the management of
cities and complex systems
 Middle age smart cities (L. Mumford...
New paradigms in public decision
making
 Polycentric governance (Ostrom): deciding in small units on a large
scale
 Bott...
New techniques arise
25/08/2016
Design thinking (Stanford, Ecole des Ponts)
EGPA UTRECHT
A paradoxical research question:
Can we conceive the gov’t of a city that
should not need a government?
 At date, if we a...
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Direct democracy as the keystone of smart city governance as a complex system

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We consider the smart city not as an addition of « smarties » (technological devices) but as system capable of evolution all along its lifecycle. This cycle has been described as Urban Lifecycle Management (Rochet 2015) since a city never dies and must be able to reconfigure itself while its internal and external environment changes.
Literature on cities as evolving ecosystems (Batty 2015) considers this evolutionary process can’t be steered in top down way, either by a supra rational actor, or on a self regulating basis as claimed by the authors of the first order cybernetics.
Integrating all the components of this evolution in the context of iconomics (economics of the III° industrial revolution)we examine why direct democracy appears to be the best drivers for this regulation and what could be its process.

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Direct democracy as the keystone of smart city governance as a complex system

  1. 1. Direct democracy as the keystone of smart city governance as a complex system Claude Rochet 1, Amine Belemlih 2 1 Professeur des universités LAREQUOI Université de Versailles Saint Quetin en Yveline Claude.rochet@univ-amu.fr 2 PhD student Université Paris Dauphine
  2. 2. Abstract  We consider the smart city not as an addition of « smarties » (technological devices) but as system capable of evolution all along its lifecycle. This cycle has been described as Urban Lifecycle Management (Rochet 2015) since a city never dies and must be able to reconfigure itself while its internal and external environment changes.  Literature on cities as evolving ecosystems (Batty 2015) considers this evolutionary process can’t be steered in top down way, either by a supra rational actor, or on a self regulating basis as claimed by the authors of the first order cybernetics.  Integrating all the components of this evolution in the context of iconomics (economics of the III° industrial revolution)we examine why direct democracy appears to be the best drivers for this regulation and what could be its process. 25/08/2016 Understanding urban dynamics The city as a self regulating ecosystem How direct democracy may work Summary EGPA UTRECHT
  3. 3. What a smart city can’t be  A collection of « smarties »  A techno centric city  A city without past  A deterministic system Smart city = Integrated complex system 25/08/2016EGPA UTRECHT
  4. 4. Middle age cities were smart: organic development, common good, synergies between economic activities 25/08/2016 Common good Vivere politico Economic welfare Pivate good EGPA UTRECHT
  5. 5. Top down mono functional city 25/08/2016 Togliatti (Russia): Monocities have turned to be an obstacle to growth in Russia, representing up to 31% GDP. EGPA UTRECHT
  6. 6. A (really) smart city is an emerging ecosystem  Smart city framework= A great number of interactions between people x connected objects whose quantity and speed is in dramatic increase at date.  The behavior of a system is predictable when the sequence of transitions from one state to another can be described.  Emergence takes place when the space of possible states or rules of transitions change: the city can’t be described by the model that described it until then. (Heylighen & Joslyn 1991)  Modeling emergence implies: 1. Mapping the properties, desirable an undesirable, the system can take. 2. The values attached to theses properties in a precise context. 25/08/2016 Understanding urban dynamics The city as a self regulating ecosystem How direct democracy may workEGPA UTRECHT
  7. 7. A smart city is an integration of two kinds of systems 25/08/2016 Hard systems may be modeled thanks to the laws of physics (conservative systems) Soft systems can’t be modeled with the laws of physics (dissipative systems) - Social sciences - Big data - Autopoeisis - Multi-agents modeling The key of the success is here… … while business is there Politics must prevail on a bottom up basis Understanding urban dynamics The city as a self regulating ecosystem How direct democracy may workEGPA UTRECHT
  8. 8. Cities scaling laws 25/08/2016 Densité Potentiel d’interconnexions Y=x2 Loi de Metcalfe But….. Distance Interconnexionsréelles Lois de Von Thünen Tobler Externalités+et_ Taille But….. Taille Nombredevilles Lois de Marshall West Bettencourt Lois de Zipf EGPA UTRECHT
  9. 9. Combining these laws: 25/08/2016 Size x Number of cities Connectionsxwealth New town Clustering medium size cities New town Defining the perimeter and the « in and out » interrelations of the system is a key issue in cities’system design Understanding urban dynamics The city as a self regulating ecosystem How direct democracy may work EGPA UTRECHT
  10. 10. Urban dynamics: from neo cybernetics to autopeosis  First order cybernetics (Forrester):  The city as a self regulating system…  ... Or a super command and control machinery (Rio)  The 2nd order of cybernetics includes autopoeisis of human dissipative systems  The complexity of the city is a combination of several laws  There is a positive correlation between growth of the city size and its complexity....  ... But there is a good and a bad complexity Understanding urban dynamics The city as a self regulating ecosystem How direct democracy may work 25/08/2016EGPA UTRECHT
  11. 11. Good and bad complexity 25/08/2016 At a certain point growing complexity produces more negative than positive externalities and become unmonitorable Bad complexity Good complexity Growing size Growingcomplexity E. g. Detroit, Russian monocities… EGPA UTRECHT
  12. 12. A quasi zero order cybernetics unable to self regulate 25/08/2016EGPA UTRECHT
  13. 13. First order cybernetics city 25/08/2016 The myth of the super mind and perfect control EGPA UTRECHT
  14. 14. Autopoeisis: Why and How?  An autopoeitic system is “”a network of processes of production (transformation and destruction) of components which: (i) through their interactions and transformations continuously regenerate and realize the network of processes that produced them; and (ii) constitute it as a concrete unity in space in which they (the components) exist by specifying the topological domain of its realization as such a network.” H. Maturana  Autopoeisis is a property of human dissipative system: strong entropy and correlative capabilities to reproduce itself permanently thanks to its internal interactions 25/08/2016EGPA UTRECHT
  15. 15. Autopoeisis: Why and How? Autopoeisis makes the system able to face with the rapid changing of the environment: “"This generalized view of autopoiesis considers systems as self-producing not in terms of their physical components, but in terms of its organization, which can be measured in terms of information and complexity. In other words, we can describe autopoietic systems as those producing more of their own complexity than the one produced by their environment". C. Gershenson 25/08/2016EGPA UTRECHT
  16. 16. Autopeoietic system integration works bottom-up based on “ordinary actions of the people” 25/08/2016 NO! An evolutionary process Integration process is bottom-up… … based on ordinary interactions  We must understand how ordinary people behave  Q: Is there an architect with a master plan? EGPA UTRECHT
  17. 17. Why do we need strong citizen based interactions within a system? (1)  Economy:  An economic structure based on synergies of economics activities is the condition to wealth creation which reinforces itself through interaction of a political power based on the Common Good (Reinert, 2006, Rochet, 2012)  FFF (Failed, Fragile and Failing states) : The missing link is related to the lack of increasing returns based on « coopetitive » diffusion of means (…) productive governance often enforces the development sustainable productive structures based usually on a participatory system.  “State failure an fragility are often preceded, or at least accompanied, by failure and fragility of cities” (Reinert & Kattel, 2009)  “The more the participatory system is closed to democracy and shared economic growth with special focus on health, education and communication infrastructure building, more quickly the divergence between countries narrow down.» (Reinert &Kattel, 2009) 25/08/2016EGPA UTRECHT
  18. 18.  Resilience:  A smart city is a highly internally connected facing with a turbulent environment, that challenges its resilience.  Strong social capabilities enforces the autopoeitic properties of the system, and consequently its resilience.  E.g. Christchurch (NZ) 25/08/2016 Why do we need strong citizen based interactions within a system? (2) 26/01/201618EGPA UTRECHT
  19. 19. Why do we need strong citizen based interactions within a system? (3)  Citizen is at the interface of technological devices which consume and produce data (e.g. The smart phone)  The frontier between production and consumption is blurred more than in other cases of information economy (McLuhan)  In a rapid innovative system the citizen is a lead user of the innovation process (Von Hippel).  The power of these technical systems requires strong political control to be both fully efficient and not becoming the level of a totalitarian system (Simondon). 25/08/2016EGPA UTRECHT
  20. 20. Direct democracy has a strong record in the management of cities and complex systems  Middle age smart cities (L. Mumford): mix of formal and informal institutions, strong shared system of beliefs (smart cities without architect)  Critical correlations between civic involvement and wealth creation (Lorenzetti: The effect of good government) 25/08/2016 Understanding urban dynamics The city as a self regulating ecosystem How direct democracy may work  Schumpeterian economics correlates synergies between activities, political freedom and common weal.  Traditional decision making system may help modeling a resilient human system e.g: ongoing research project of modeling an eco- efficient drinking water network in Angola with the palaver tree EGPA UTRECHT
  21. 21. New paradigms in public decision making  Polycentric governance (Ostrom): deciding in small units on a large scale  Bottom up decision processes : e.g. Michael Batty modeling decision process as a Markov chains to bring back the city in a ergodic state  Large deliberative upfront processes reduce uncertainty e.g. The Parable of the Hare and the Tortoise: Small Worlds, Diversity, and System Performance (Lazer & Friedman 2005)  « In short, cities are more like biological than mechanical systems. The rise of the sciences of complexity, which have changed the direction of system theory from top down to the bottom-up is one that treats such systems as open, based more on the product of an evolutionary process than a grand design » Michael Batty « A new Science of Cities » 2015 25/08/2016EGPA UTRECHT
  22. 22. New techniques arise 25/08/2016 Design thinking (Stanford, Ecole des Ponts) EGPA UTRECHT
  23. 23. A paradoxical research question: Can we conceive the gov’t of a city that should not need a government?  At date, if we assume the benchmark of a smart city is Singapore, it’s not really a democracy.  At date, we don’t know large system that have developped spontaneously self organizing properties .  Rules, as a genetic code of an ecosystem, are the result of a long term learning process: Cf. biomimicry  A Machiavellian approach: The Prince is to fix the good institution from the top down giving the citizens the rights to challenge the power of the few in charge.  We have a lot of reference of direct democracy experiences, how they were born, how they died. 25/08/2016EGPA UTRECHT

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