This paper discusses two distinct interpretations of self-organisation with regard to civic initiatives in urban development. One concerns urban developments in which citizens deliberately organise themselves in order to realise a collective ambition. This interpretation of self-organisation resonates with forms of self-governance. The other is embedded in complexity sciences. It stresses the spontaneous emergence of urban structures on a particular scale out of the uncoordinated interactions between initiatives on a lower level. The paper highlights the similarities and the fundamental differences between both understandings of self-organisation. It also identifies implications of these differences for research on spatial planning policy and recommendations for civic initiatives in urban development.
- urban planning
- organic area development