A New Kind of City Science Built on Living Structure

1:00pm - 2:15pm
ZOOM ID: 959 0867 6237 Passcode: 666666

Living structure is a mathematical structure, in which there are far more small substructures than large ones. Under the notion of living structure, city science is defined as the science, art, and technology of dealing with the acquisition, storage, processing, production, presentation, and dissemination of city information to help address three fundamental issues about a city: how it looks, how it works, and what it ought to be. It is a new kind of science, for it is built under the third view of space: space is neither lifeless nor neutral but a living structure capable of being more living or less living (Alexander 2002–2005, Jiang and Huang 2021). It is a new kind of science, for science as conventionally conceived is mainly about understanding how things are rather than what things ought to be. It is a new kind of science, for it is framed under the Whiteheadian organismic world view rather than the Cartesian mechanistic world view. The new kind of city science aims not only for better understanding city structure and dynamics (how cities are in other words), but also for better transforming modern cities and communities to become living or more living (what cities ought to be, so to speak), towards a sustainable society. In this presentation, he will begin with the three fundamental issues about a city, and present the concept of living structure, and its two fundamental laws: scaling law (Jiang 2015) and Tobler’s law (1970). He will argue and demonstrate why one structure is more living or more structurally beautiful than another, and briefly present a research agenda on the new kind of city science. He will further discuss about cross-disciplinary collaboration and cooperation in the future.

Keywords: Natural cities, head/tail breaks, ht-index, Axwoman, big data analytics

Event Format
Speakers / Performers:
University of Gävle, Sweden

Dr. Bin JIANG is Professor in GeoInformatics and Computational Geography at University of Gävle, Sweden. He worked in the past with The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and University College London. He is the primary developer of the software tool Axwoman (http://giscience.hig.se/binjiang/axwoman/) for topological analysis and scaling hierarchy of very large street networks. He invented the new classification scheme head/tail breaks (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head/tail_breaks) for scaling analysis and visualization of very big data. He is the founding chair of the International Cartographic Association (ICA) Commission on Geospatial Analysis and Modeling, and co-founding chair of ICA Working Group on Digital Transformation of National Mapping Agencies (https://nationalmapping.icaci.org/). He used to be Associate Editor of international journal Computer, Environment and Urban Systems (2009–2014), and is currently Associate Editor of some international journals such as Cartographica, and Computational Urban Science. His research interests center on geospatial analysis and modeling of urban structure and dynamics, e.g., agent-based modeling, scaling hierarchy, and topological analysis applied to street networks, cities, and geospatial big data. His recent work focuses on how to transform modern cities to be living or more living towards a sustainable society.

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