Streams

The Science of Cities

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Theoretical physicists and professors at the Santa Fe Institute, Geoffrey West and Luis Bettencourt, discuss their attempt to come up with the universal laws governing all cities and city life everywhere. 

Listeners: What laws do you think govern city life? Comment here!

Guests:

Luis Bettencourt and Geoffrey West
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Comments [2]

Economist from Quebec Nation

In 2000, the Francophones on Montreal Iseland engineered a conglomeragtion of the island to incorporate the frnech speaking (steal the money of anglos) it was a dis-aster!

We have since de-merged most of the anglo boroughs like Westmount

Dec. 23 2010 12:02 PM
David Madden from Brooklyn, NY

As an urban sociologist, let me say that this "science of cities" strikes me as ahistorical, in at least two senses. First, it seems to proceed in ignorance of the history of various fields of urban studies, which have proposed quantitative laws of urban life in many different forms; these authors appear to ignore the well-known criticisms of these approaches. (And it should be said that Jane Jacobs is not, in fact, the entirety of urban thought.) Second, this way of thinking about cities completely ignores the very different historical trajectories along which cities travel; it is clear that the shape and scale of cities has much more to do with "regularities" of the political-economic sort, rather than the mathematical sort.

Dec. 23 2010 11:43 AM

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