Cusp In The Media

SimCity for Real: Measuring an Untidy Metropolis

The notion of a “science of cities” seems contradictory. Science is a realm of grand theory and precise measurement, while cities are messy agglomerations of people and human foible. But science is precisely the ambition of New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress. Founded last year, the center has been getting under way in recent weeks, moving into new office space and firing off its first project proposal to the National Science Foundation.

The center’s director is Steven E. Koonin, a Brooklyn native and graduate of Stuyvesant High School, who came to N.Y.U. after a stint in the Obama administration as the under secretary for science in the Department of Energy. He is both a theoretical physicist and science policy expert. The center shouldn’t lack for intellectual rigor.

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