Investigate Urban Dynamic Phenomenon

By Yeekee, Ku

Can ‘Dynamical Transitional Rules [DTR]’ improve our modelling tools and allow us for better understanding of urban dynamic phenomenon?

Over a century, the fundamental misconception of cities as ‘Control Engineering System [CES]’ made out of static rules has misinformed the urban tools and misled us to believe that we can predict the future. This has a direct impact on the techniques that we used to plan or to interfere with the city’s structure. In the shift to understand cities as ‘Complex Adaptive System [CAS], we have come to realise that different types of investigation and approaches are required. Instead of one final ‘ideal’ optimised condition in the form of the static ‘Master plan’, we will need to develop a framework that allow our cities to change and adapt to unpredictable and spontaneous shorter-period phenomena.

Science is contingent and temporal as theories rewrite other theories over time as a means to progress in human civilisation Yeekee, Ku

The thesis will investigate the microstructure that causes these dynamic changes. The phenomenon will illustrate the ‘negotiation’ between private and public demarcation of human activities in spaces at different times. In this way, we will gain a better understanding of what actually is happening within a city’s structure. The thesis hypothesizes that the microstructure dynamics are a fundamental contributor to the dynamic interactions between the main categories of urban changes, as observed in that phenomenon. These main categories of urban changes are known as ‘Structural Attractors’.

A case study will be selected to observe their generative capacity towards the larger entity of a city. Therefore, the thesis will employ ‘Inverse Problem1’ method to gather and analyse the data. The ‘Action Research2’ method to verify and evaluate the data in order to attain a set of interrelated parameters with its relations, called ‘Dynamical Transitional Relations [DTR]. This thesis starts with assumption that the understanding of DTR will contribute as a set of guidelines that informs experts (architects and urban designers) on the possibility of this microstructure dynamics, which emerge and affect the larger entity of a city. These fundamental understandings on DTR might improve current modelling tools which were based on the mechanistic control system and static rules, to be dynamic. As an outcome, this enables us to predict a range of outcomes that is closer to urban reality.


  1. Inverse Problem Method [IPM] is a method that starts by calculating the results and then, to calculate the causes. The results refer to the set of observations, while the causes refer to the causal factors.
  2. Action research is a research method that offers flexible repeated process, which allows action that is to inform (change, improvement) and research that is to be informed by that change (as understanding, knowledge) to be achieved simultaneously.