Author Archives: Michael Batty

About Michael Batty

Set up and runs the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) at University College London and is Bartlett Professor of Planning

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