Urban planning projects are planned and organized through arrangements between actors. These arrangements are institutional interventions: they intervene in the institutional landscape as existing organizational boundaries are (temporarily) redrawn. Such boundary decisions are intended to simplify complexity. However, these boundary decisions also produce new complexities as new boundary issues arise. Our contribution investigates these boundary issues by studying and comparing three urban planning projects in the Rotterdam urban system (the Netherlands). The analysis shows that the boundary issues are often underestimated and that coping strategies are required to deal with them. Because boundary issues pose serious threats to the success or even survival of projects, management should invest in increasing the capacity to deal with (often unexpected) boundary issues.

Emergence: Complexity and Organization
Department of Public Administration

Verweij, S, van Meerkerk, I.F, Koppenjan, J.F.M, & Geerlings, H. (2014). Institutional interventions in complex urban systems: Coping with boundary issues in urban planning projects. Emergence: Complexity and Organization, 16(1), 7–23. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/85382