Predicting urbanization with mathematics

Cities are complex systems that can be described in universal mathematical formulas. This is what Luis Bettencourt, professor of complex systems at the Santa Fe Institute, shows in his articles. These were recently published in Science and other respected scientific magazines. With his theoretical framework, social, spatial and infrastructural properties can be predicted for real cities all around the world.

As more people start to lead urban lives and the number and size of cities everywhere is increasing, understanding how cities function is increasingly important”, says Bettencourt. “We are just starting to understand why urbanization happens everywhere and what it ultimately means for our species and for our planet.

By Collin Molenaar

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