Is Any City Truly Unique?

As new research data on cities pours in daily, interesting patterns emerge regarding income, green space and urban growth. Like people in their genetic make-up, are cities fundamentally all the same?

As The Economist reports, some interesting patterns behind the growth, land use and function of cities persists in even the world's most unique cities. The article states, "Regardless of size, their populations grow at the same average rate everywhere in the world. A city twice as large as its neighbour is likely to be 15% richer. The mix of green space and built-up areas tends to be equal everywhere."

Patterns like these have only emerged in recent years with the onslaught of new data, a shift in urban research and new methods of analysis. "Better technology has turned cities into fountains of data that confirm known regularities and reveal striking new patterns," states the article.

Some interesting statistics that have emerged regard the city's ability to create economies-of-scale, such as the fact that "big cities are thrifty versions of small ones," in that things like infrastructure per capita tends to decrease as cities grow, yet factors like income, savings and patents tend to grow.

Full Story: The laws of the city

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95
DVD Cover of The Story of Sprawl

The Story of Sprawl

See how America changed shape in this collection of historic films that visually document how sprawl evolved.
$29.99 for 2-DVD SET