By George F. Chadwick
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Extra resources for A Systems View of Planning. Towards a Theory of the Urban and Regional Planning Process
A property is an external manifestation of the way in which an object is known, observed, or introduced in a process. Attributes characterise the parameters of systems, making possible the assignment of a value and a dimensional description. The attributes of objects may be altered as a result of system operation. "Relationships are the bonds that link objects and attributes in the system process. " The idea of systems came originally from biological science and from those electronic processes that simulate the interaction of biological organs, and the early development of systems thought is associated with the biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy, especially that of General System Theory : "From the statements we have made, a stupendous perspective emerges, a vista towards a hitherto unsuspected unity of the conception of the world.
Thus there is 'feedback' from the result of the action to the testing phase, and we are confronted by a recursive loop. ]" Test (Incongruity) Operate F I G . 2 . 1 . T h e TOTE unit of the nervous system. This "fundamental building block of the nervous system" they denote a TOTE unit (Test-Operate-Test-Exit), and it indicates simply that the operations that an organism performs are constantly guided 24 A Systems View of Planning by the outcomes of various tests. Thus TOTE indicates the relationship between Image and action : the test phase of TOTE requires the specification of a state of knowledge as the basis for the comparison involved, and the operational phase represents action by the organism ; and so Plans may be seen as being basically composed of TOTE units.
G. "the Copernican revolution was really the discovery of a new static framework for the solar system which permitted a simpler description of its dynamics". The next level is of "clockworks": the simple dynamic system with predetermined, necessary motions: even stochastic dynamic systems leading to equilibria are examples, Boulding considers, for all their complexity. The third level is that of cybernetic systems, the province of homeostasis in physiology, mainly differing from the simple equilibrium system in that the transmission and interpretation of information is an essential part of the system.
A Systems View of Planning. Towards a Theory of the Urban and Regional Planning Process by George F. Chadwick