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The surprising math of cities and corporations

"Physicist Geoffrey West has found that simple, mathematical laws govern the properties of cities — that wealth, crime rate, walking speed and many other aspects of a city can be deduced from a single number: the city's population. In this mind-bending talk from TEDGlobal he shows how it works and how similar laws hold for organisms and corporations."


Via Seth Dixon
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Seth Dixon's curator insight, December 4, 2:44 PM

While corporations rise and fall, it is quite rare for a city to entirely fail as an economic system.  Huge cities have some negative consequences, but the networks that operate in the city function more efficiently on economies of scale in a way that offsets the negatives.  Increasing a city's population will continue to improve the economies of scale (larger cities have higher wages per capita, more creative employment per capita, etc.).  However, this growth requires major technological innovations to sustain long-term growth.  

 

Tagsurban, planningmegacities, industry, economic, scaleTED, video.

Built 4 Betterness Ed van den Berg's curator insight, December 14, 3:17 PM

Not surprisingly the DNA of cities is a follow-up of human DNA and understanding this will explain and predict how the body of a city will develop!

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Visualizing Regional Population Statistics

It was just over two centuries ago that the global population was 1 billion — in 1804. But better medicine and improved agriculture resulted in higher life expectancy for children, dramatically increasing the world population, especially in the West.

 

This is an excellent video for population and demographic units, but also for showing regional and spatial patterns within the global dataset (since terms like 'overpopulation' and 'carrying capacity' inherently have different meanings in distinct place and when analyzed at various scales). It is also a fantastic way to visualize population data and explain the ideas that are foundational for the Demographic Transition Model.

 

Tags: population, scale, visualization, Demographics, models, unit 2 population, sustainability, regions, spatial.


Via Seth Dixon
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Sarah Ann Glesenkamp's curator insight, September 17, 7:55 PM

Unit 2

Mohamed Mohamed's curator insight, October 13, 4:03 PM

This video describes and explains how we got to a population of 7 billion people so fast

Mohamed Mohamed's curator insight, October 13, 4:04 PM

It also uses water to demonstrate it.