Urban science… urban metrics

… cities aren’t just increasing the pace of life; they are also increasing the pace at which life changes. “It’s like being on a treadmill that keeps on getting faster,”…  “We used to get a big revolution every few thousand years. And then it took us a century to go from the steam engine to the internal-­combustion engine. Now we’re down to about 15 years between big innovations. What this means is that, for the first time ever, people are living through multiple revolutions. And this all comes from cities. Once we started to urbanize, we put ourselves on this treadmill. We traded away stability for growth. And growth requires change.”

One thing I have learned, having lived in London on and off, is that I like having access to the great things it has to offer – I just don’t like living there on a full time basis.

Maybe I should think again…

A new article in the New York Times highlights some of the reasons why cities can be so successful.  It is the best article I have read in a long time – the advantages, disadvantages and the implications for innovation, technology and the pace of change.

• The New York Times:  A Physicist Solves the City

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