Engineering of Public Systems

by Gorman Gilbert, Asst. Prof. of City and Regional Planning; Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N. C.,
Jarir S. Dajani, (M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg. and Policy Sci.; Duke Univ., Durham, N. C.,

Serial Information: Engineering Issues: Journal of Professional Activities, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 1, Pg. 15-23

Document Type: Journal Paper


The many phenomena loosely labeled urban problems exhibit one common and disconcerting characteristic—they resist solution. Despite enormous public attention and expenditures, they persist. This raises two questions: why are these problems so persistent, and how should engineering more effectively address these problems? This paper seeks to answer both questions. The nature of urban problems is examined, and the use of systems analysis is reviewed. Finally, four recommendations are made for broadening the systems approach and thereby increasing the effectiveness of the engineers in dealing with urban systems.

Subject Headings: Systems engineering | Urban areas | System analysis

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