Monthly Archives: July 2011

What Is Social Physics?

Several previous posts suggest that our Science of Cities is more like Biology than Physics but Social Physics has a long history. CASA’s Martin Austwick recently gave an impromptu review from Quetelet’s original definition to Comte’s rebuttal. Useful definitions from Stewart … Continue reading

Posted in Scaling, Social Physics | 1 Comment

Network Science, A Guide

A science of cities is rooted in networks that deliver energy and information to the components that make up a functioning urban system. This one page guide takes you to the key sites, people, books, papers, data and software associated … Continue reading

Posted in Morphology, Networks, Transport | Leave a comment

Past Glimpses of Chaos, Complexity and Tipping Points

Great Talk by Paul Ormerod at Durham on Tipping Points in Financial Systems, quoting Keynes in 1937 who said: “Actually, however, we have, as a rule, only the vaguest idea of any but the most direct consequences of our acts.” Read … Continue reading

Posted in Chaos, Complex Systems, Tipping Points | Leave a comment

The Urban Systems Collaborative

The Urban Systems Collaborative has just launched its blog – ideas about where a science of cities meets planning practice will emerge from this site. Note the focus on Smart Cities, Intelligent Cities, Paul Romer on Charter Cities. Good summary … Continue reading

Posted in Complex Systems, Smart Cities, Technology-ICT | Leave a comment

On Complexity

Nobel Prize Winner Herbert Simon said, in one of his last contributions: “The theory of complex systems is perhaps going to look more like biology, with its myriad of species and of proteins, than physics, with its overreaching generalizations.” Excellent … Continue reading

Posted in Biology, Complex Systems | Leave a comment

Embracing Urban Evolution

describes a rather innovative approach to designing the organic city. Ten architecture offices in Holland and China built a city in relay through 10 stages effectively mirroring a process of organic emergence rather than a strict top down design. Click … Continue reading

Posted in Design, Evolution | Leave a comment

The Heart of the City

Written by Victor Gruen in 1964 who said “I can visualize a metropolitan organism in which cells, each one consisting of a nucleus and a protoplasm, are combined into clusterizations to form specialised organs like towns…..” He portrayed this idealised … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution, Morphology, Transport | 2 Comments