Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The New Science of Cities (MIT Press) Hardcover – November 1, 2013
|New from||Used from|
Up to 50% off select Non-Fiction books
Featured titles are up to 50% off for a limited time. See all titles
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
A brilliant synthesis of how concepts from complexity science change our understanding of cities. Scaling, fractals, and simulation models are clearly explained and used to demonstrate how flows and networks shape cities and how they can be better predicted and managed for improving urban planning and design. A great book for an emerging urban science.(Denise Pumain, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, Institut Universitaire de France)
As Michael Batty reminds us with fascinating historical excursus, the idea of developing a 'science of cities' is not new. However, today's explosion of measurements in the urban field -- the so-called big data phenomenon -- is opening up possibilities that were unthinkable just a few years ago. New research territories are looming, to which this book is a compelling and perfectly timed guide.(Carlo Ratti, Director, SENSEable City Lab, MIT)
Michael Batty has followed a career that has made him the prime interpreter of urban modeling in all its forms. Now his remarkable work has become the foundation of a new science of urban flows and networks that uses big data and sharp theory as tools to dig deep into how and what cities are, and how they can be designed in better ways. This is the book that sets the benchmark that all others will have to follow.(Nigel Thrift, Vice-Chancellor, University of Warwick)
Overall, The New Science of Cities is an ambitious and laudable undertaking, one that Batty admits cannot be comprehensive, but which, even so, may well be seen as a milestone.(New Scientist)
About the Author
Michael Batty is Bartlett Professor of Planning at University College London, where he is Chairman of the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), and Visiting Distinguished Professor at Arizona State University. He is the coauthor of Fractal Cities: A Geometry of Form and Function and the author of Cities and Complexity: Understanding Cities with Cellular Automata, Agent-Based Models, and Fractals (MIT Press).
Top Customer Reviews
If, however, you're a general reader interested to learn new and stimulating facts about properties that the world's cities have in common, you'll almost certainly be disappointed. There's very little empirical discussion of cities in this book, and a great deal of math (mostly matrix algebra, with a bit of graph theory thrown in). A more descriptive title for this book might be something like "Mathematical modeling of cities and the planning process." You should also be advised that this new "science" is essentially economics. There isn't any biology or ecology involved, or anything about how the built environment affects the local weather (as it sure does here in Tokyo); and even the bit of physics the book contains is sometimes off-kilter.
I came to the book as one of those general readers, albeit with a fairly high tolerance for math-heavy exposition. I found the book frustrating on several levels, as I'll describe below. Nonetheless, I admire the author's attempts to synthesize his field, and also the modesty with which he makes claims for this purported new "science." Throughout the book he is scrupulous to point out the limitations and the tentative or even metaphorical nature of many of the techniques he describes. For these reasons, as well the book's possibly being intended for an expert-only readership (notwithstanding the MIT Press's marketing that roped me in), I give the book close to a 4-star rating despite my own issues with it.Read more ›
Most problematic I found however that the book attempts to advance a 'science of cities' without paying much attention to real cities. The mathematical formulae proposed are only applied to simplistic diagrams with limited resemblance to their real-world models, and there is no discussion of how the results of the analysis relate to actual urban environments. Thus for example when analysing networks in fig.7.3-7.4 the conversion of streets into axial lines around London's Regent Street misses about a third of the connections and glosses over the problem of converting a curved street into linear axial lines, fig.7.5 calls a square grid "Manhattan grid", while fig.7.9-7.13 show a map of Melbourne CBD that omits dozens of streets but includes several connections between the rail and street network that do not actually exist. In none of these examples is there comprehensive discussion of what the results of the analysis could mean, and there is no comparison with data about real flows. This is consistent with the absence in the list of references of much of the relevant urban sociology, environmental psychology and urban design studies literature.Read more ›