“Physicist Geoffrey West has found that simple, mathematical laws govern the properties of cities — that wealth, crime rate, walking speed and many other aspects of a city can be deduced from a single number: the city’s population. In this mind-bending talk from TEDGlobal he shows how it works and how similar laws hold for organisms and corporations.”
While corporations rise and fall, it is quite rare for a city to entirely fail as an economic system. Huge cities have some negative consequences, but the networks that operate in the city function more efficiently on economies of scale in a way that offsets the negatives. Increasing a city’s population will continue to improve the economies of scale (larger cities have higher wages per capita, more creative employment per capita, etc.). However, this growth requires major technological innovations to sustain long-term growth.
Tags: urban, planning, megacities, industry, economic, scale, TED, video.
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