What is a City?

Think a city is a bunch of buildings? It’s not quite that simple.

Physicists Geoffrey West and Luis Bettencourt of the Santa Fe Institute have looked at data from cities around the world to try to understand what, exactly, they are. Strangely, cities grow and scale in a predictable way – making it possible to predict things like the average wage or average walking speed by measuring the population of a city. 

In this video by The Atlantic, learn why researchers think of cities as organisms.

 

Published
October 16th, 2014
Updated: March 2nd, 2018


Surprising patterns underlie the growth of all urban systems.


Conversations