It is by now a truism to say that cities are complex. In our efforts to make sense of the complexity, we often look for comparisons, metaphors and analogies: the city as organism, the city as language, the city as a set of mathematical relations. It is a mark of the profound and pervasive complexity of cities that they are amendable to all three of those comparisons. Cities are alive, they speak to us and can behave in mathematical, law-like ways. Cities are the product of a living species and, like language, have emerged and co-evolved with that species. Like mathematics, cities remain the subject of active and conscious construction, investigation and creative manipulation. And yet, it is arguable that we do not understand cities to the same level of detail and nuance that we understand organic life, language and mathematics. It is also arguable that, in the face of growing urban populations and our increasingly adverse effects on the planet, we should have an equivalent level of understanding of the built environment, as a matter of urgency.
School of the Built Environment
Year of publication: 2021Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-07-06