Paying attention to people, Systems Planning℠ enhances visualisation and understanding, builds taste for demonstrable reasoning, educates argumentation, inspires curiosity for ‘why’ and ‘how’, and develops both intellectual and applied competences. It is not only the planners who have something to learn — e.g. efficient procedures and outcomes — but also the stakeholders: they get to see the common system, and their interests in perspective.
Systems Planning℠ invests in education (παιδεία) towards holistic human excellence (αρετή), starting with Base Skills, then on to building Competitive Advantage™, and then to creating an Haute Culture™.
Despite the ‘instant gratification’ related to the success of particular applications, the most significant and difficult-to-achieve ‘returns’ of education are the cumulative and collective contributions to human knowledge (γνώση).
Inspired by Plato's Academy, Aristotle's Lyceum, and Renaissance humanism, Systems Planning℠ education is broad (e.g. methodology, culture, philosophy) as much as it is deep (e.g. science and/ or engineering specialisations) and delivered at a ‘human scale’ via worldwide networking and knowledge — i.e. ‘think globally, act locally’.
Guided by the insightful SF2™ vision, Systems Planning℠ has rare privileges such as working with visible and examinable reasoning, understanding, and knowledge, being able to ‘zoom in and out’ between specifics and the ‘big picture’, and coming to terms with change and uncertainty. This paves the way to the art of efficiency™.
Mainstream schools take ‘non-system’ approaches to knowledge (e.g. data-based) and competences (e.g. single-track), and offer certificates of ‘ranked’ prestige.
Fellow ‘system’ schools cut to the chase through analysis, simulation, and/ or creativity, but are not as comprehensive as Systems Planning℠ (e.g. problem structure).
Systems Planning℠ is to be appreciated by curious and uninhibited thinkers, passionate about perfection™, wishing to develop an ‘integrated multi-dimensional maturity’, or Haute Culture™, with a stance of unassuming confidence™. Merit lies in one’s attitude, ideas, competence, and conduct — i.e. their true preparation for life.
Academic qualification —
In contemporary ‘specialising’ educational systems, graduates are identified by their subject matter and implied competences — e.g. engineer (e.g. civil, mechanical) or scientist (e.g. mathematician, geneticist, physicist).
Professional qualification —
Upon entering professional practice, some graduates disregard their academic specialisation (e.g. finance, law) in favour of their professional qualification (e.g. CPA, judge) — especially those required to pass professional body admission exams.
Holistic view —
‘Holistic’ alumni embrace all academic and professional specialisations, whether for collaboration or personal interests, and thus cross or bridge categories. This may confuse or even offend those who prefer rigid classifications.
At the apogée of holistic development, Systems Planning℠ creates, promotes, enjoys, and radiates an integrated multi-dimensional maturity designated as Haute Culture™ (Competences technical folio), which epitomises the art of efficiency™.
At a practical and focussed level, often associated with a specific subject matter, Systems Planning℠ puts the art of efficiency™ through its paces by means of a dynamic arrangement of capability and kudos designated as Competitive Advantage™.
Professional Perfection™ — “The RBP™ made us realise some important hidden assumptions [understanding]. After a few versions of the RBP™ we could see clearly our aims, leverage points, and their links [refinement]. Working with diagrams, we learned to think in a more organised and much more efficient manner [intelligence].”
Personal/ Team Fulfilment™ — “In the RBP™ we managed to establish the missing relations among the SWOT points [mastery]. By simulating the alternative strategies in the DCD™ we made a confident decision [confidence]. Discovering intelligent solutions to difficult problems is always rewarding [satisfaction]. And since true ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking is rare and difficult, we received praise for our achievements [recognition].”
Organisational Advancement™ — “With the help of the CPD™ we made our operations more agile [fluid function]. With the DCD™ we streamlined our institutional strategy [streamlined structure]. And with the help of the CPD™ we re-shaped our departments and their communication channels [tuned form].”
Be inquisitive and critical — ask ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ Be organised — master structure and method Be meticulous — explain ‘with all the steps’ Be able to work conceptually and practically
Be able to define a problem precisely Be able to ‘see’ patterns and relationships Be demanding to understand ‘how things work’ Be able to seek solutions creatively — beyond the obvious
Be able to tell what is pertinent (and what is not) in each case Be comfortable with assessment — know your references Be clear about the decision-making model to use Be bold enough to ‘stick to’ a decision
Be aware of all the interested parties Be receptive — ‘listen’ to everyone with attention Be open about reasoning — draw all mental models Be comfortable with all media — both classic and modern
Systems Planning℠ Insight Lectures℠ are educational talks with perspectives of praxis (e.g. applications, experience) as well as abstraction (e.g. methodology, philosophy).
Students are expected to relate their personal and/ or professional interests — e.g. science, management, organisation (v. professional fields and industries).
Academic guidance in a reflective mode empowers the students in a profound and engaging way. Academic mentoring™ ranges from class assignments to dissertations and theses. The following lists provide starting points in complementary perspectives.
Cyranoski, D., et al. (2011) The PhD factory Munroe, R. (2013) How much science is there? Bohannon, J. (2013) Who’s afraid of peer review? Couzin-Frankel, J. (2013) The power of negative thinking Rabesandratana, T. (2013) The seer of science publishing Malakoff, D. (2013) Hey, you’ve got to hide your work away
Cause Efficiency — i.e. simplicity, elegance, goodness Means — e.g. understanding, mastery, accomplishments Cultivation — e.g. intellectual maturity, holistic mindset
Types of diagrams used in [spatial/ sectoral/ business] plans Forms of argumentation used in [spatial/ sectoral/ business] plans Government challenges in [local/ regional/ national] spatial planning Types of decision-making used in [public/ business] administration Cause-and-effect expressions in [EISs/ ERs/ plans/ strategies] The planning process in [public/ business] administration Process modelling in [spatial/ sectoral/ business] projects Performance in [spatial plans/ business strategy/ public policy] Cognition in planning: restrictions, resolutions, and enhancements Quality of information: perception, communication, verification Methodology of research: protocol, sources, cognition, proof
How to prepare a [plan/ policy/ strategy] that delivers as promised? How to minimise what can go wrong in a [plan/ policy/ strategy]? How to visualise the way [side-effects/ impacts] arise in a project? How to discover innovative mitigation solutions to [side-effects/ impacts]? How to verify that an argument is well structured and convincing? How to communicate what is on your mind (e.g. what you want to achieve)? How to optimise the efficiency of a planning operation (e.g. tasks, resources)? How to check that a decision is [formed/ made] in the most appropriate way? How to know that [anything] is ‘good’ or ‘fit for purpose’? How to extract human-readable mental models from AI? How to instruct AI with human-readable mental models? How to discern causality in data mining operations? How to create mental models out of narratives?
Bibliography styles Strunk, W. (1918) Elements of Style. Ithaca, NY: Humphrey — Online edition The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th. ed. (2010). TSMS — Online edition University College Dublin Library (2011), Harvard Referencing Style (Guide 69) University College Dublin Library (2011–2013), Chicago Referencing Style (Guide 68)
Specialist Workshops℠ are short and focussed training sessions with immediate practical outcomes as well as cumulative contributions to Haute Culture™.
Entry-level workshops focus on individual X-ray Packs™, while Masterclasses™ combine X-ray Packs™ to address advanced planning challenges.
All sessions make use of Pro Utility™maps and/ or procedures.
Process Profile™ Workshop Case studyAdministrative process (recruitment/ substitution) OrganisationUTAD Solutions Consulting (USC) ParticipantsTop management; officers AnchorA. Perdicoulis VenueP2-G17, UTAD Date & Time07 DEC 2018, 2pm–6pm
Efficiency at Work™ Masterclass Case studyAdministrative processes (Registrar, AV services, Finance, IT helpdesk) OrganisationUTAD ParticipantsClerical assistants AnchorA. Perdicoulis VenueECT Polo I, UTAD, Vila Real Date & Time02 & 03 JUL 2018, 9am–5pm
“Incrível! A utilidade que esta formação nos ofereceu, com trabalho nosso, podemos simplificar todos os processos chaves da USC. Muito agradado com a capacidade do Professor explicar e tornar isto ‘fácil’.”
“Recomendaria a formação aos membros, que estariam ligados directamente ao mapeamento e aos directores de departamentos. Dessa maneira eles próprios confirmariam se o processo está a ser bem executado e quem sabe, repensar a forma com são executados, caso seja possível. Assim a optimizar cada vez mais os processos.”
Description:Gives a visual form to mental models of ‘how things are’ or ‘how things work’, and thus helps gain understanding about assumptions and knowledge (or lack thereof) regarding the dynamic structure and function of the object of interest — e.g. an un-documented system. Prospectus:Reverse Blueprints™ Technical Folio:Packs
System Maps™— dynamic structure and function of systems (RBP) Viewport Design™— creating dynamic constructs (e.g. cockpits, dashboards) for system conduct
Description:Gives a visual form to mental models of ‘how entities relate’ in terms of order or hierarchy, and thus helps gain understanding about assumptions and knowledge (or lack thereof) regarding the hierarchical structure of the object of interest — e.g. an un-documented system. Prospectus:Hierarchical Structures™ Technical Folio:Packs
Hierarchy Maps™— entity relations in terms of order or hierarchy (HBS)
Description:Expresses graphically the way we reason to reach our decisions as an ‘information flow protocol’, and thus helps find out any reasoning flaws or un-necessary shortcuts — quite important when responsibility is high, such as in competitive environments or in the public domain. Prospectus:Decision Logic™ Technical Folio:Packs
Decision Maps™— full plan (DCD) with decision model analysis™ (DMA) information flows
Description:Expresses graphically ‘how things are done’ — e.g., the preparation of plans or projects. Once documented, processes can be checked and optimised for pathways, resource use, and outcomes — crucial in cases of high responsibility. Prospectus:Process Profile™ Technical Folio:Packs
Process Maps™— concise (CPD), extended (EPD), personalised (PPD) Special cases: transaction chains (TCD); information flow (IFD) Process Layout™— sequential documentation of processes in a diagrammatic form
Description:Expresses graphically the content of ‘action proposals’ (e.g. public and private plans, policies, and strategies) regarding the relations between concerns, objectives, action, and outcomes, and thus facilitates the preparation and verification of both their structure and content. Prospectus:Plan Workings™ Technical Folio:Packs
Strategy Maps™— action proposals (e.g. plans, policies, strategies) in a diagrammatic form (DCD)
Description:Juxtaposes internal elements of ‘action proposals’ (e.g. plans, policies, strategies) to figure out their effectiveness (Z–Z′), fulfilment of outcome (Y–Z′), and overall efficiency (Z–X–Z′), which facilitates their comprehension and application. Prospectus:Efficiency Assessment™ Technical Folio:Packs
Efficiency Maps™— full plan (DCD) with efficiency assessment™ (EFI) mark-up
Description:Adds concerns and commitments to the mental model of the system of interest (RBP) from distinct points of view (stakeholders), and thus facilitates the conception of strategy and creation of action proposals (DCD) in a negotiated manner. Prospectus:Strategy Board™ Technical Folio:Packs
Situation Maps™— working grounds (RBP) for preparing strategy in ‘XYZ’ notation Graphic SWOT™— element standing and roadmap analysis in SWOT notation
Description:Expresses graphically how the impacts are likely (or thought) to arise from the proposed action, and thus facilitates the construction, understanding, and verification of the causal argument in environmental impact statements in comparison to the classic text option. Prospectus:Impact Tracing™ Technical Folio:Packs
Impact Maps™— causal pathways from actions to impacts (RBP/ DCD) EIA Light™— EIA argumentation with Impact Map™ storyboards (RBP/ DCD)
Description:Turns stories or accounts into appropriate diagrams — e.g. situations (RBP); courses of action (CPD); plots (DCD) — and thus facilitates the understanding of dynamic structure, function, causality, inter alia, which provides a richer experience with the narrative. Prospectus:Graphical Narrative™ Technical Folio:Packs
Storytelling Maps™— systems view (RBP), process view (CPD), plan view (DCD)
Description:Explores the formulation of hypotheses — e.g. potential solutions to problems, explanations to phenomena, answers to questions, or ideas for innovation — and improves decision-making through the understanding to create these options. Prospectus:Creative Hypothesis™ Technical Folio:Packs
Sapience Maps™— reverse blueprints (RBP) with appropriate mark-up (e.g. ‘XYZ’)
Description:Training to form insight and/ or innovation through exploration and understanding of situations. Milestones:Target situation; dynamic analysis; prospective vision; imaginative scenarios; action plan Modules:Graphical Narrative™[story/ account diagramming];
Creative Hypothesis™[formulation of hypotheses]
Description:Training to conceive growth and/ or maturity through exploration and understanding of systems. Milestones:Target system; dynamic analysis; prospective vision; imaginative scenarios; action plan Modules:Reverse Blueprints™[system structure/ function];
Creative Hypothesis™[formulation of hypotheses]
Efficiency at Work™
Description:Training to achieve efficiency at work through exploration and understanding of processes. Milestones:Target process; efficiency issues; causal understanding; potential solutions; action plan Modules:Efficiency Assessment™[objective referencing];
Process Profile™[operation protocols]
Description:Training to appropriately use indicators and/ or indices through exploration and understanding of systems. Milestones:Target system; aggregation levels; indicator sets; element dynamics; computational views Modules:Reverse Blueprints™[system structure/ function];
Strategy Board™[positioning on a situation]
Description:Training to conceive impact mitigation through exploration and understanding of systems and/ or action. Milestones:Target system; target plan; side effects; individual mitigation; compound mitigation; scenario simulation Modules:Impact Tracing™[how impacts arise];
Reverse Blueprints™[system structure/ function]
Description:Training to enhance decision making through exploration and understanding of situations and/ or action. Milestones:Target stakeholder; target situation; target plan; decision model; decision options Modules:Decision Logic™[reasoning protocols];
Plan Workings™[the content of action proposals]
DivisionDepartment of Engineering, School of Science and Technology (ECT) AddressQuinta dos Prados, 5000–801 Vila Real, Portugal Systems Planning℠ anchorA. Perdicoulis (since 1997)
Fundação Casa de Mateus (FCM)
LocationVila Real, Portugal FunctionCo-organisation, ‘Ciclo de Conversas sobre Ciência e Cultura’, in cooperation with UTAD Systems Planning℠ interfaceThe Classics Club℠ 1st Series — 2013–2014A. Rodrigues (FCM), E. Henriques, A. Perdicoulis, and L. Roçadas (UTAD) 2nd Series — 2014–2015A. Rodrigues (FCM), E. Henriques, and A. Perdicoulis (UTAD)
Instituto Internacional Casa de Mateus (IICM)
LocationVila Real, Portugal FunctionCo-organisation, ‘Ciclo de Conversas sobre Arte, Ciência e Cultura’, in cooperation with UTAD Systems Planning℠ interfaceThe Classics Club℠ 3rd Series — 2015–2016T. Albuquerque (IICM), E. Henriques, A. Perdicoulis (UTAD), and R. Merrill (UMinho) 4th Series — 2016–2017T. Albuquerque (IICM), E. Henriques, A. Perdicoulis (UTAD), and R. Merrill (UMinho) 5th Series — 2017–2018T. Albuquerque (IICM), E. Henriques, and A. Perdicoulis (UTAD)
Systems Planning℠ compiles a number of reading lists, sorted by their publication media (e.g. books, articles), including special Systems Planning℠ publications.
The suggested reading provides sources of knowledge on specific subjects, as well as material for broadening one’s horizons.
The transmission of knowledgeper se relies on reader experience. The ideal content of scholarly publications (mainly articles and books) is explanations that yield understanding (e.g. processes, causal mechanisms), which demands curiosity and hard work. Data (i.e. facts/ objective reality) and information (i.e. interpretation/ meaning) are ‘raw’ sources with limited intrinsic value for the advancement of science.
The mainstream scholarly (or ‘scientific’) publications extend to all fields of human knowledge, are usually produced and distributed by commercial publishers, and are abstracted, indexed, and/ or ranked for various purposes by affiliated or independent companies. Regardless of publisher repute, indexing, or classification, all publications (e.g. articles, books) should be consulted with a critical spirit.
Demeaning pressures and delusive attractions in scholarly R&D are likely to result in inferior quality publications (e.g. ‘filler’ articles) and conjectural knowledge (e.g. hasty or generic conclusions), both of which are unsuitable for further research. It is the duty of the researcher to identify and exclude the inappropriate publications, and the duty of the editors and publishers to not let this happen in the first place.
In the recent past, libraries were the important aggregators of scholarly publications (e.g. periodicals, books), valued for their physical collections. Modern scholarly publications are aggregated in online distribution networks created by the publishers and/ or indexing companies. Commercial ventures are centralised and thus become more visible and/ or popular, while independent publishers (e.g. departments, schools) generally adopt a more modest standing.
Designation‘Practice lab’ ContentMethodological notes and commented examples Established2011 ISSN2182-8091
Designation‘Concept lab’ ContentConcept profiles from the wider scientific/ epistemic domain Established2012 ISSN2182-8105
Designation‘Community lab’ ContentIssues of science and society Established2012 ISSN2182-8113
Designation‘Junior lab’ ContentProblems and solutions, in a way similar to chess or card games Established2012 ISSN2182-8121
Designation‘Inception lab’ ContentNarratives between ideals and reality Established2013 ISSN2183-1459
Designation‘Competence lab’ ContentShowcase of efficient practice across fields Established2013 ISSN2183-1440
Designation‘Storytelling lab’ ContentFables with technical illustrations Established2014 ISSN2183-3591
Designation‘Quality lab’ ContentThe inherent properties of substance Established2014 ISSN2183-4024
Listing (L→R): Journal; Publisher
Extension I: ‘ISI’
Environment and Planning APion
European Planning StudiesTaylor & Francis
European Urban and Regional StudiesSage
Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and ManagementWorld Scientific
Journal of Environmental Planning and ManagementTaylor & Francis
Journal of Environmental Policy and PlanningTaylor & Francis
Journal of the American Planning AssociationAPA
Journal of Urban AffairsWiley
Listing (L→R): Journal; Publisher
Extension II: non-‘ISI’ A
Built EnvironmentAlexandrine Press
Environment and Planning B: Planning and DesignPion
Environment and Planning C: Government and PolicyPion
Environment and Planning D: Society and SpacePion
Environmental Impact Assessment ReviewElsevier
Impact Assessment and Project AppraisalTaylor & Francis
International Journal of Urban and Regional ResearchWiley
International Planning StudiesTaylor & Francis
Journal of Planning Education and ResearchSage
Journal of Planning HistorySage
Journal of Planning LiteratureSage
Planning PerspectivesTaylor & Francis
Planning Practice and ResearchTaylor & Francis
Planning Theory and PracticeTaylor & Francis
Listing (L→R): Journal; Publisher
Extension III: non-‘ISI’ B
Annals of Regional ScienceSpringer
Community Development JournalOxford Journals
Current Opinion in Environmental SustainabilityElsevier
Evaluation and Program PlanningElsevier
International Development Planning ReviewLiverpool University Press
International Journal of Organizational AnalysisEmerald Insight
Journal of Urban Planning and DevelopmentAmerican Society of Civil Engineers
Local EnvironmentTaylor & Francis
Management DecisionEmerald Insight
Regional StudiesTaylor & Francis
Articles are divided in three sets: essential for Systems Planning℠, foundation articles, and community articles about the conduct of science. The following ‘showcase’ presents a selection that may be useful for beginners in Systems Planning℠.
Bohannon, J. (2013) Who’s afraid of peer review? Science, 342:60–65.
Couzin-Frankel, J. (2013) The power of negative thinking. Science, 342:68–69.
Cyranoski, D., N. Gilbert, H. Ledford, A. Nayar, and M. Yahia (2011) The PhD factory. Nature, 472:276–279.
Malakoff, D. (2013) Hey, you’ve got to hide your work away. Science, 342:70–71.
Munroe, R. (2013) How much science is there? Science, 342:58–59.
Rabesandratana, T. (2013) The seer of science publishing. Science, 342:66–67.
The following selection includes scholarly repositories with direct relevance to Systems Planning℠, as well as broader-scope public-access repositories. Private repositories are added by permission of their maintainers.
The following selection includes older support material for academic lectures (in Portuguese). More recent material (in English) can be found in books and journals, and is typically detailed in the class syllabi.
Perdicoulis, A. (2002) Planeamento Estratégico. Vila Real: UTAD, Série Didáctica, Ciências Aplicadas, 183.
Perdicoulis, A. (2002) Práticas de Planeamento Estratégico. Vila Real: UTAD, Série Didáctica, Ciências Aplicadas, 178.
Perdicoulis, A. (2002) Metodologia de Estudo e Previsão do Impacte Ambiental. Vila Real: UTAD, Série Didáctica, Ciências Aplicadas, 181.
Perdicoulis, A. (2001) Práticas de Metodologia de Estudo e Previsão do Impacte Ambiental. Vila Real: UTAD, Série Didáctica, Ciências Aplicadas, 159.
Perdicoulis, A. (2002) Modelação Ambiental. Vila Real: UTAD, Série Didáctica, Ciências Aplicadas, 182.
Perdicoulis, A. (2002) Práticas de Modelação Ambiental. Vila Real: UTAD, Série Didáctica, Ciências Aplicadas, 177.
Perdicoulis, A. (2001) Práticas de Dinâmica das Populações. Vila Real: UTAD, Série Didáctica, Ciências Aplicadas, 160.
National legislation, EU directives, and ISO norms — to name but a few — provide guidelines for work: some stronger than others, and all subject to interpretation. The following lists contain selected material (mainly for teaching purposes) that is by no means exhaustive, not necessarily representative of each category, and not necessarily completely up to date — although efforts are always made in this sense.
National Legislation [PT]
National environmental policy L 19/2014 [14 ABR] — environmental policy base law
L 13/2002 [19 FEV]
L 48/98 [11 AUG]
L 11/87 [07 ABR]
Spatial planning L 31/2014 [30 MAI] — spatial planning base law
L 46/2009 [20 FEB]
DL 316/2007 [17 SEP]
DL 380/99 [22 SEP]