Author: Bruce Long

Is Deploying Game Theory in City Planning the Wrong Place to Start?

– Bruce Long Most of us have heard the phrase ‘zero sum game’. It is a term of art from the science and mathematics of game theory. Game theory is a fascinating and powerful mathematical modeling technique for planning and predicting what will happen in interactions between agents that must negotiate outcomes between them, when doing such things as competing for limited resources, for example.  In a zero sum game the opposition or opponent in a game – in a situation where one is competing with an opponent for a finite discrete resource or outcome – either wins or loses....

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Planning for the Peripatetic

– Bruce Long Many Ancient Greek Philosophers were peripatetic: they would walk about a lot whilst thinking, and whilst talking, and whilst arguing, and whilst – thinking some more. The Peripatetic school was founded by Aristotle. It was an actual school of philosophy – which the Greeks were apt to establish as a general rule in their spare time, and lots of other times. Academies were central to the philosophical life of Athens and Ancient Greece. Now, with the current available data from neuroscience and the health sciences about the benefits of walking for our general health and wellbeing...

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Information Science, Information Theory, and Planning Philosophies…

– Bruce Long My specialisation is the philosophy of information and information theory (you can find some easily consumable material at  This is a very analytic and scientifically attuned kind of philosophy, but it does in fact have some overlap with continental philosophy. The overlap does not (only) come from the usual source: the crossover between philosophy of mind and phenomenological existentialism (the fancy term, you may remember, for describing conscious experience from an existentialist or “existing as a perceiving/experiencing being” perspective). The common ground is located more in the surprising nexus of aesthetic theory, psychology, and the...

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The Philosophy of Planning Is Everywhere Urban Planning Is

– Bruce Long The state of the art in urban, town, and city planning provides lots of examples of how planning philosophy is always operating in the background in planning scenarios. We have mentioned in previous articles that the primary contemporary planning philosophies are constructivism, positivism, and functionalism (mostly in China). Constructivists see the solution to problems as being situated with the beliefs, imaginations, and intuition of people. Constructivists about urban and planning regard that the important data and research used to plan an urban environment should come from such things as studies centered upon social psychology and testing...

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Narratives and Planned Urban Spaces

– Bruce Long Much philosophical and literary theoretic ink has been spilled on the subject of narratives and texts. Human beings document everything internally and cognitively, and socially, and literarily, and historically – using narratives (of many different kinds in stylistic, semantic, and syntactic terms). It is so obvious, and so natural, that one might say that discussing it is either a fool’s errand, or a kind of intellectual snake oil selling. Add to this that disciplines like continental philosophy and literary theory are panned as empty pseudo-intellectual waffle (certainly some if it is, but that is apparently true...

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