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Old 08-06-2011, 04:51 PM
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Default Mathematics of cities

Geoffrey West: The surprising math of cities and corporations | Video on TED.com

Something very weird goes on when a city's population gets bigger.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:16 PM
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Hmm - I really dont like how that growth in the city goes up exponentially (including crime rates and pollution it seems). And the speaker even thinks this is a good thing. At least he recognizes that the usual way this ends is collapse because the threadmill eventually gets too fast.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:04 PM
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Kind of sounds like the Earth, except in these circumstances, Earth is a closed system. Heavy stuff man.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
Hmm - I really dont like how that growth in the city goes up exponentially (including crime rates and pollution it seems). And the speaker even thinks this is a good thing. At least he recognizes that the usual way this ends is collapse because the threadmill eventually gets too fast.
Well, so do the wages and the innovation, so there are some benefits to growing a city.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:30 AM
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Oh yes, that was his point, that all goes up, innovation, speed (including walking speed), crime, ... Though I guess that statistics is a bit odd because with many things you can either plot it as rising or as falling, depending if you say "crime rate" or "safety" - "inequality" or "equality",... the more interesting part would be to see which things plot above and which below the line. If innovation plots above and inequality plots below, that would be good. That is however missing

What I did not get was that graph:

It looks like there is growth, then that stops and then it grows again when in reality these would superimpose, so that there is not really a period of relief really... hmmm

I guess if cities would be like living beings (with the sigmoidal curve), then I would see a chance for something like a sustainable city - it grows up, then stops growing, keeps steady and stays stable for a logn while. But he really makes the point that cities are not like that, that they grow indefinitely - and that certainly is not sustainable.
The only way it can keep going is when innovation would grow faster than the negative impacts, but that was not something one could see in his graphs, I believe. And I do not know if he in any way included the impact of the city on the surroundings - after all the food and resources do come from the outside of the city - the city can only grow because it draws resources from a large area...
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