The discovery of a law governing the growth of cities means that future urban populations can now be forecast in advance.
When you live in a city, you can sense its pulse, experience its pace of life and get to know its unique character. It’s almost as if a city is a living, breathing entity in its own right.
That may be little more than the fantastical imaginings of city dwellers who tend to humanise all things inanimate. And yet, there is much demographic evidence to show that cities have their own unique identity, even though they are made up of millions of seemingly independent individuals.
One test of the idea that cities are coherent entities is the ability to predict their future characteristics based on their past behaviour. Today, Alberto Hernando at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland and a couple of pals show that this is indeed the case.
Via Ashish Umre