The basis of this book originates from the eighties, when the OPM-Group (Ont-werp en Planning Methodologie) of the Faculty of Architecture of the Technical University Delft developed a new methodology which was focused on quantification of design decisions in urban planning. The method was tested in numerous urban planning and housing projects and formed the basis for the subsequent establishment of the ADECS (Advanced Decision Systems) consultancy firm. Its founder, Erik Berkhout, is to be regarded as the pioneer who conceived the methodology of the OPM-Group. The experiences of the OPM-Group and ADECS provide an empirical validation for the theoretical urban planning concepts described in this book.

Application to complex construction projects has been proven to be of great value in numerous graduation studies at our faculty. These studies led us to extend the original concept with new elements related to construction projects rather than urban planning, in particular our concept for uncertainty reduction and risk assessment (Chapter 4) and our views on the role of the bill of requirements and legislation (Chapter 6).

We are grateful for all these practical experiences, which show that what we advocate is not merely theory but actually works in practice.

Ir. Casper Krebbers made us aware of the continuously increasing relevance of the Open Design approach in the practice of urban planning in The Netherlands. He wrote the computer program for Monte Carlo simulation and provided valuable help in the preparation of the figures. The assistance of ir. Peter Barendse related to geometric modelling is gratefully acknowledged. We thank Jeroen Burger for his efforts in polishing the English of our manuscript. We express our gratitude to Marja Landzaad, who has worked as management assistant in the OPM-Group since 1978, for her encouragement at the stage of writing and her help in editing the book. Finally, we thank our colleagues, in particular ir. Rein de Graaf - who also reviewed Chapter 7 - and Alexander Koutamanis, for taking over our obligations towards students at times when we were too engrossed in our writing.

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