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?
June 28, 2012, 6am PDT | Andrew Gorden
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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.

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Published on Saturday, June 23, 2012 in The Economist
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