Decision-Making, the Direction of Change, and the Governance of Complex, Large-Scale Settlement Systems

Chapter by William Bowen and Robert Gleeson in The Evolution of Human Settlements: “…argue that the evolutionary processes by which human settlements have evolved through countless experiments throughout millennia are the most likely paths for resolving today’s greatest problems. Darwin’s great insight has important implications for understanding decision-making, the direction of change and the governance of complex, large-scale settlement systems. Darwinian views accommodate fallible Homo sapiens making decisions, some of which work and others that do not. Darwinian views imply the value of diverse institutions and reliance upon general patterns of social, ideational, and technical interaction rather than upon specific policies designed to directly produce particular results for particular individuals, groups, and settlement systems. Solutions will evolve only if we ensure continuous, diverse, problem-solving initiatives….(More).