Thesis Systems Thinking

Cost estimation will be able to forecast construction cost for a new project with minimal project information as it is not a simple and straightforward task due to the integration of multiple variables and uncertainties.

Current traditional cost estimation techniques have limitations adapting to real world projects.

Rooted in 1940's systems theory, systems thinking offers a different approach than reductionist thinking.

Systems thinking, in one of many definitions, can be explained as “a perspective of seeing and understanding systems as wholes rather than as collections of parts — a web of interconnections that creates emerging patterns over time.”In Daniel Kim explains that systems thinking is and can be a number of things — a growing field, a mindset, a perspective, a language, and a set of tools.

This research seeks to provide greater insight and added value to cost estimating practices.

The systems thinking paradigm improves the current understanding and the technical performance among quantity surveyors in preparing reliable cost estimates.

“People who try to predict the future by extrapolating in a line of more of what exists [today]…are always wrong.”Undoubtedly, the future of our global cities will be emergent in ways we may or may not predict — from social uprisings like new populism, new technologies like blockchain, or climate events like Hurricane Sandy. Chaos is paired with order, and we have opportunity — with the right leadership, knowledge, and tools — to reimagine a new, 21st-century “order” for our cities and our world to thrive.

Assuming “order” are the things — principles, frameworks, behaviors, etc.

One could say that cities are our bellwethers, our global pulse points…as cities go, so goes the world. San Francisco is failing their homeless population. And like natural ecosystems, cities evolve through a combination of chaos and order.

To take a pulse today, cities indicate a global system in distress. The late urban writer and activist, Jane Jacobs, once said, “cities happen to be problems in organized complexity” and warned against predicting city’s futures.


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