How Complex Is Your City?

A new study examines why it is so hard for so many of us to find our way around cities.
August 19, 2004, 7am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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Researchers at Sweden's Umeå University "have tried to figure out why it is so hard for us to find our way around cities. Of course, the obvious answer is that cities have a lot of streets. And particularly if you live in an old city like London or Athens, those streets are messily arranged. But it turns out that the problem is a lot worse than that... To analyse cities in terms of the amount of information required to navigate them, Rosvall and colleagues took street plans of several cities and translated them into information networks, in which streets become nodes connected to other nodes. So long roads with many intersections become hubs with many connections."

The source study, Networks and Cities: An Information Perspective (PDF, 1MB) is also available.

Thanks to Ashwani Vasishth

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Published on Wednesday, August 18, 2004 in Nature
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