Modeling platform for integrated assessment of intervention propolsals in localities : case study, Medellin Metropolitan Area (Colombia)
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This dissertation proposes a comprehensive framework for conceptual, methodological and instrumental contribution to urban intervention planning and public policy design. For a Latin American case study, a prospective multi-methodology modeling platform was developed to support the novel proposed approaches for intervention assessment, as well as to establish a knowledge building dynamic for planners using multidisciplinary discussion and, most importantly, paradigm confrontation and change. Paradigm analysis of both planning and modeling fields drives the strategy to establish a scientific bond between underlying analytical approaches and planning agents’ visions. The analysis thereby offers a greater understanding of the urban problem and an inclusive definition of the city´s selected path for urban development, focused on the complex exchange of formal approaches, real practice issues, and agents’ professional and methodological biases. The compared paradigm analysis allows insertion of the modeling paradigm discussion – traditionally reserved to the theoretical arena - into a wider philosophical framework for urban planning, intended to facilitate the multiple urban analysts’ paradigm confrontation and to establish a strategy based on multi-paradigm thinking capable of uncertainty and complexity comprehension in practice. This analysis drives the planning modeling tools development and the communication and appropriation proposals. For the case study Medellín Metropolitan Area (Colombia), considering that planning is a non-neutral value discipline, City Object/City Subject are presented as the main paradigms for urban planning practice and their methodological approaches are contrasted with Normative/Descriptive modeling paradigms. A stronger bias on physic-spatial focused planning related to the City Object proposed paradigm was identified and formalized. A multi-paradigm modeling platform was then built to bridge the City Object + City Subject multi-paradigm, which is capable of combined territorial and social actor dynamic envisioned through the Normative + Descriptive OR multi-methodology. This development enhances the descriptive and explicative power of the urban intervention evolution analysis, exploring urban occupation as both a driver and driven dynamic of the social actors’ transactions and as a strategic link to assess the demand cycles for planning. The demand is redefined as a dynamic variable in time and space instead of as an input. The developed multi-paradigm multi-methodology platform offers contributions to different levels of urban planning modeling and assessment, related to the general chain of analysis as well as to each implemented methodology. It especially redefines the modeling exercise as an active part of the planning exercise, configuring an information added value chain (source, base and results) that feeds the knowledge building process and highlights new analysis lines and niches. As a result, analysts are compelled to exchange, discuss and confront their position on the building impacts of Urban Futures. For the case study, the platform offers prospective information on density; socioeconomic composition, urban service qualification (distribution, accessibility, connectivity) and externality estimation (congestion), among many other indicators linked to versatile information systems (geographical and relational). It has been supported by several of the local and regional planning agencies and progressively integrated into their planning exercises. The research offers an analysis framework that acknowledges the urban planning exercise’s impact on the evolution of spatial and social exclusion patterns. This framework aims for innovation in the planning field in order to build the basis of a truly comprehensive planning strategy that tackles the most urgent problems of our current and future urbanization processes.