Foundations of Urban Science


CUSP –  New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress – in launching their Masters program in Applied Urban Science and Informatics, have put together a fascinating course called Foundations of Urban Science which is being taught this fall by several visitors who bring different views of this science to the table. Ed Glaeser who wrote the book The Triumph of the City kicked it off and he was followed by the ASU-Santa Fe group – Jose Lobo on size and scale, Luis Bettencourt on data and scaling, and Geoff West on allometry and city size. Mike Batty (me starting today 11th November)  talked about spatial interaction, land use transportation models, and CA-ABM and then Jose Lobo will return to talk about creativity in cities. The course is topped and tailed by the  organizers Steve Koonin and Constantine Kontokosta from CUSP itself. Click here to see the basic syllabus. I don’t think this is necessarily a model for how to develop a Science of Cities course but it is one of the best so far because it builds on the last 40 years of development in urban economics, social physics, transportation, location theory and urban geography and casts all this into a contemporary mould where scale, size, big data, big science, and qualitative change all conspire to provide the dynamics of how cities are evolving in the present day.