Researchers Say Two Simple Rules Can Predict Urban Growth

Is it possible to predict when and how cities will grow? A group of researchers in France say the answer is yes.

Alberto Hernando de Castro and his colleagues analyzed over 100 years of data from Spanish cities to identify patterns they say can help predict urban migration.

Two trends stood out, Sarah Fecht writes.  First, cities tend to repeat their own past growth patterns.  Second, cities near one another tend to grow—or not grow—together.

For their next project, Hernando and his research team will look at data sets from other countries.  This will help them determine whether the patterns they observed are universal, or specific to the Spanish case.

Full Story: Forecasting the Growth of Cities


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