March 11, 2022
Worldwide urbanization and the growing availability of data on many facets of cities is quickly leading to the development of our fundamental understanding of cities at many different scales, creating the discipline of urban science and enabling transformative new applications. In this talk, I will start by describing the emerging framework for understanding cities as complex systems, made up of interconnected social and infrastructural networks, and channeling human agency towards societal change. I will then provide two illustrations of new research characterizing i) measures of human development in US cities and neighborhoods and ii) the structure of African cities measured via massive new building footprint datasets.
I will argue that analysis of systemic datasets such as these in the light of developments in urban science, allow us new models of sustainable urban development that reframe what we mean by equity, prosperity and city form.