Complexity Theory as the Meeting Point Between Urban Planning and Psychoanalysis: Joy in Beit Safafa

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Similarities between the human being and the city, which is the result of human activity, seem natural: the city is a man-made creation, it can be seen as an extension of one’s private self, and as such, it has a self, resilient or vulnerable, sick or healthy. Planning is the glue that binds our expertise together to create a better future for the public’s joy. In this article, we discovered new aspects of the relationship between joy and the spatial structure of a peri-urban area. Beit Safafa is a relevant example of the impact of development pressure, both as a social practice and as a response to trends in modern urban society, on the neighbourhood’s structure. The research highlighted the accumulated impact of the relationships between the object and the subject–between the therapist and the patient, the planner and the plan as well as between the individual users and the urban fabric as a whole. Using a digital planning support system of Geodesignhub and consistent with complexity theory, this study focuses on four planning strategies, their characteristics and composition and explains the motivation and reasoning for multi-system comprehensive planning.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban Book Series
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages22
StatePublished - 2024

Publication series

NameUrban Book Series
VolumePart F2839
ISSN (Print)2365-757X
ISSN (Electronic)2365-7588

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2024.


  • Beit Safafa
  • Complexity theory
  • Joy
  • Kohut
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Urban planning


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