City as compared to a living organism

Posted: July 14, 2010 in Theories
Tags: , , , , ,

What better way to breath life into a blog about cities than likening it to a growing and living organism? Thanks to Geoffrey West who got bored with theoretical physics, a couple of ecologists, and an obscure theory on scales by Max Kleiber.

Yes, you are just a minute cell in the city. The theory says that “the metabolic rate is equal to the mass of the animal raised to the 3/4 power”. In city terms, this means that a growing city becomes more efficient with the resources it consumes, such as gasoline and power. This explains why New York is considered a sustainable city.

To extend the city-organism analogy, cancer can also metastasise in the urban area in the form of crime (social cancer?), taken over to be part of a metropolitan (phagocytosis), or undergo reconstruction and development (regeneration).

SEED Magazine via YLOGANA

Photo via urban photo

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