Issue 88

Better Cities April 2018 Issue

“Social relationships don’t change with city size.”

— Prof Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute

Scaling up a city may bring economies of scale, but it also exponentially increases creativity and socio-economic activity. Prof Geoffrey West puts forth the question of how long such growth can be sustained in a world of limited resources. While cycles of technological innovation—such as the discovery of coal and the invention of computers—have kept alive the open-ended growth of cities, he argues that a sociological and cultural paradigm shift is needed for the planet to overcome the next inevitable collapse.

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