Santa Fe Institute

Audiocast: Size tells us most of what we need to know about a city

Oct. 13, 2010 4:21 p.m.

In an October 8 radio interview, two SFI researchers explain what they are learning about cities, in particular how a given city’s population correlates to hundreds of variables, from the speed at which its inhabitants walk to the number of per capita patents awarded.

Distinguished Professor Geoffrey West and External Professor Luis Bettencourt describe their research results to RadioLab’s Robert Krulwich and even show off a bit, predicting from inhabitants’ average walking speed the size of an anonymous city and the number of libraries it contains. 

Radiolab airs on more than 200 local stations around the world.

Listen to the October 8 Radiolab interview (6-minute interview begins at 11:30 in this online broadcast)

See also: SFI news article about a Rockefeller Foundation grant to study cities and companies

See also: June 1, 2010 Alliance magazine interview with Geoffrey West

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