Contracts and Learning in Complex Urban Projects


Complex urban projects developed within a neoliberal context may entail inclusionary goals. In order to recognize diversity and as a response to many uncertainties, learning during their realization becomes an important issue. Consequently, legal agreements for complex urban projects that cater to learning are more suitable than agreements in which detailed agreements are stipulated far in advance. This article presents a study of learning and contracting in four focal projects that were part of three complex urban projects: Battery Park City (New York), King’s Cross (London) and the Zuidas project (Amsterdam). The agreements concluded in these projects cater to learning in very different ways, though the actual culture in the projects differs to a lesser degree.