Thesis Systems Thinking

To achieve this, the objectives of this research include identifying factors affecting cost estimating accuracy, to investigate the influence of factors towards cost estimating, and to propose a systems thinking paradigm for improvement in cost estimating reliability.

The systems thinking paradigm is proposed as an alternative methodology in tackling cost prediction challenges in which the interconnectedness among the variables is explained through the causal effects loops.

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.

For example, affordable housing policies will be different, west coast verse east coast weather will have different implications, available funding will vary, and so on.

Cities, wicked problems, and systems thinking are incredibly complex fields that have been pioneered by leaders and experts for decades.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.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.Solving a city crisis or challenge — Cape Town’s water crisis or San Francisco’s homelessness - can seem impossible, especially if we take a reductionist approach.Mainstream education and culture often reinforce reductionist thinking — breaking down wholes into parts and studying parts in isolation from their roots.“But to be a true systems thinker”, says Kim, “you need to know how systems fit into the larger context of day-to-day life, how they behave, and how to manage them.”Systems thinking scales.Therefore, you can apply systems thinking at multiple levels of thinking related to cities and solving wicked problems.ur 21st century demands leadership — and many are turning their eyes towards our world’s cities. By 2050, 65% of our global population — an estimated 6 billion humans — will live in cities. My home city, Philadelphia, is grappling with 25% poverty.Cities, accounting for just 2% of earth’s landmass, produce 70% of global GDP, 70% of global C02 emissions, and 66% of energy consumption, they are growing in political power, and enliven society as cultural hubs. For decades, scientists and urban experts alike have stated that cities are — borrowing a term from ecology — ecosystems, hybrid ecosystems consisting of both natural and human-made elements.


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