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Complexité urbaine : langage et outils, le cas de Horch Beyrouth

Abstract : Perceived as a complex adaptive system, public space could be examined through the means of complexity. In this thesis, we discuss the case of an urban park, Horch Beirut, aiming to showcase the contributions of the complexity approach to urban studies, both epistemological and methodological ones. Horsh Beirut makes up to 70% of green spaces in Beirut, but has been mostly closed to the public since the end of the Lebanese civil war in 1990. Surrounded by three culturally heterogeneous neighborhoods, the triangular park embodies both urban multiplicity and exclusion. The complexity approach not only offers a transdiciplinary scientific lexicon but also interdisciplinary modeling tools. To showcase these tools, we apply Systemic Triangulation for the urban diagnosis of Horch Beirut. This tool acknowledges the inscription of complex problems in structural, functional and dynamic continuums, establishing the relationships between them, and projecting interactions between the system and its environment. We also propose the Soft Systems Methodology tool for an interactive governance based on non-linear representations of urban reality. The complexity approach has provided us some new insights. First, addressing cities, and urban entities like Horsh Beirut, as complex systems could diverge our perception of fragmented linear solutions towards adaptive evolutionary processes. Secondly, chaos is not to be feared. In fact, by being on the edge of chaos complex systems adapt and co-evolve, consequently creativity is catalyzed and change emerges. Finally, and most importantly, a public space should not be designed, but encouraged to emerge. It would be better to induce its self-organization than to try to control it. Thus, a change of attitude is necessary: the role of urban actors, architects and urban planners, should be reoriented towards seeking the underlying dynamics of an urban system, establishing its emerging properties, and subsequently, determining and inducing its synergistic opportunities.
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Joumana Stephan. Complexité urbaine : langage et outils, le cas de Horch Beyrouth. Architecture, aménagement de l'espace. Université Paris-Saclay; École Doctorale des Sciences et de Technologie (Beyrouth), 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLD007⟩. ⟨tel-02451244⟩

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