Models in Understanding and Planning the City - (Paper first received, April 2009; in final form, July 2009) Abstract The aim of this paper is to present a both chronological and conceptual overview of thirty years of Italian research in the branch of urban modelling within the international context. It frames the Italian contributions within international modelling developments, showing the close interrelations which have been established throughout the period considered. During this brief but creative period we have witnessed substantial shifts in approaches: from a macro perspective to a micro-scale description of urban phenomena; from a static to a dynamic setting; from the role of operational tools in evaluating urban policies to theoretical investigation of urban complexity. The paper is organized around six families of models, which are characterized either by the theories underpinning them or by the formalism used.
Keywords: models, system theory, complexity
JEL Classification codes: C53, C63, O21