Tuesday, July 9, 2013
#190 / Social Reactor
The Atlantic Cities and Science Daily both have both run articles on recent research aimed at better understanding and characterizing "cities."
Statistical research undertaken by Santa Fe Institute Professor Luis Bettencourt "derives a series of mathematical formulas that describe how cities' properties vary in relation to their population size."
Bettencourt then "posits a novel unified, quantitative framework for understanding how cities function and grow."
The theoretical framework developed by Bettencourt "predicts very closely dozens of statistical relationships observed in thousands of real cities around the world for which reliable data are available."
Bettencourt's bottom line conclusion? Cities are "social reactors."
The articles are worth reading, and those who have been involved in practical politics will probably quickly recognize the appropriate nature of the "reactor" metaphor.
In politics, cities are where the power is.