Lys was Nature, and Diaspar was technology (a city) in Arthur C. Clarke’s first novel, The City and the Stars.1 The separation of Nature and technology was recognized as a sharp line getting dull by the mid-20th century. Nevertheless, the imagination of writers such as Clarke (using science fiction) and writers of non-fiction make countless insights into the dualities of a rapidly changing human condition. The underlying themes of severance from Nature have definitions in law, physics, even in the biochemistry of constituent yet distinct elements that link all life. We are going to put it this way. It is between us and the tree.
The following prompts take on The Tree as an example of the dynamism possible in the Lys Diaspar disconnection. It then tells how a small dense village in the Black Forest revolutionized the German energy grid. Finally, this lesson is applied to what can be best described as ghosts in the urban mega-regions, followed by a brief call for major cultural changes in how society frames possible futures. One other notification, these are “prompts,’ giving rise to ideas. There is no argument or thread of logic or one set of thoughts leading to another and another toward a conclusion.
The question of an unfragmented “wilderness” policy to assure the supremacy of the open space and its connection to urban green space needs to examine two words. They address the subject of trees. First, afforestation is for planting in areas cleared for at least a decade, and second, reforestation, a process that replaces trees clear-cut for forestry harvests. Now accept that part of the cost of solving a global problem such as carbon sequestration is an expenditure essential to civil society in the urban world.
Here is one example of accepting a global cost. In 2009, a study by Ross Gorte on this question came up with the need for 105 to 455 million acres of afforestation.2 (meet him here). The broad range represents uncertainty over the potential of sequestration from forestry, as is the cost. It ranges from $250 to $2,000 per acre. The United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, has 3.7 billion square miles, of which 181.2 thousand square miles is a water area leaving just over two billion acres to search for suitable locations and appropriate species of trees on millions of acres.
Ross Gorte’s paper also explored carbon trading to pay for keeping trees as part of the earth’s atmospheric carbon sink solution. Ideas such as markets for shares to “offset” the carbon put into the atmosphere by coal-fired plants (still around 40%) require ways to pay for carbon sequestration. This can mitigate climate change except for one problem — it is just one piece of the puzzle and cannot work alone from an engineering standpoint. Forest cover will be of little consequence if the global ocean’s role is overwhelmed. However, the tree can is not the first step on the ladder from which change can begin. One good way of putting it is this – the “tree” is on the high steps of that ladder to sustainability, human civilizations are still be looking to find the first rung.
The National Atlas of population density illustrates low and high population density for 2000 (above). The resources to keep the blue from spreading will occur when the light green and yellow people gain economically from dense urban growth in the blue. Building a Global Solutions Network (GSN) is in the interest of every nation that can see itself without a boundary. Thus, the provocation. Is it possible to move forward with reasonable goals, objectives, and a strategy? Yes, but is it up to “trees” to do the job?
The study of urban and forest area fragmentation suggests that very low-density land uses can sustain forest cover, and it helps if there is a high-density area nearby to absorb the demand for growth. Thus, reasons to promote the location of dense population areas are many, from tiny dense clusters to major repairs required of the super dense agglomerations. However, as illustrated in the following maps, a nearby forest is becoming rare, even though they ensure a safe, constant water supply and thousands of other benefits, and some of them we barely understand.
Losses from urban fragmentation and natural environments endure in tandem; however, solutions built into urban land use law, building regulation, and ecological protection science have been profoundly successful by securing urban economic prosperity and the key environmental impact secrets of the forest. As a result, the poisons generated by the city can be contained, treated, and returned nonthreateningly into the natural environment.
Aggressive government and philanthropic investment efforts to sustain mountain ranges and reduce destructive natural resource exploitation from Maine to Georgia inform the necessity for added protection from Texas to Alaska. There are no strong links to policies for retaining an unfragmented wilderness, and yet it remains a keen interest of our forest dwellers at low densities with stewardship. The maps that follow show forest by fragmentation and type. Study them deeply, find one near you.
Forest Fragmentation and Type
Using the National Atlas, a view of Forest Type as unfragmented areas (in green) in the Northeast, Northwest, and South derive from large state and national parks set against edges of forest area fragmented by land use. Again, the win/win is obvious if water and an undisturbed diverse natural environment hold priority.
Knowledge of the biomes and multiple interrelationships across the continent continues to grow exponentially. People can live in the forest and be their stewards and protector. The forest can also be host to the highly trained observers of its functions (here). Here is one example, A. solidipes clonal colony is a single fungus organism of the Blue Mountains of Oregon forest measuring 2.4 miles across. It is composed of genetically identical cells that communicate to sustain a common coordinating function.
What we are as a species requires paying far more attention to everything else. The demand for greater intensity of awareness exposes all of David Attenborough’s lifetime and recent witness statement ( YouTube: here). As a species, we do not see the deep phenomena of life, but we are separate enough to know we barely understand all these other complexities. For all of the wonders and mysteries he has known in his life, he would tell you they involve vast, unimaginable amounts of energy, that we are of this enormous life force and the beneficiaries of every being’s course through life, even a forest and a vast fungal colony. We are not only part of a structural organization of endless complexity. We remain in the wake of its beauty and terrifying powers. Attenborough reminds us of John Muir’s life (wiki) (blog), who also wanted everyone to know there is a world where you can look directly into the face of God and not be afraid. To call these places “parks” is not wrong, but it is an insufficient and inadequate expression of Muir’s larger purpose.
We offer one incentive: despite the hubris before the terrifying century-long lessons of Nature, it remains the best teacher. The central problem is how energy is organized in a structurally organized urban system that sees the forest as a companion of the wilderness as well as, independent partners.
[Biodiversity] is the assembly of life that took a billion years to evolve. It has eaten the storms — folded them into genes – and created the world that created us It holds the world steady.E.O. Wilson in The Diversity of Life
Before moving on to another prompt, two books made the point on diversity with success. The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate―Discoveries from A Secret World reveals that the careful long term analysis of scientists such as Peter Wohlleben can demonstrate to the rest of us that the trees of a forest, along with many other forms of life communicate, feel, and live in social networks of enormous importance to their survival.
Eating to Extinction: The World’s Rarest Foods and Why We Need to Save by a British food journalist, Dan Saladino, reports the following observation has he prepared his articles. “We thought with science we could change the cycle of life and its rules,” one food exec said, feeding ourselves with monocultures and basing the world’s food supply on a handful of plants. This approach was now bankrupt. “We’ve been killing life, and now we need to restore it.”
The economics of globalization and the death of distance clearly illustrate a ruthless homogenization of food production for profit as an alternative to nutrition. Today, only nine major staples remain of the six thousand different plants consumed by human beings. Just three of these―rice, wheat, and corn―now provide fifty percent of human calories intake
The Black Forest Energy Solution
In the United States, a financial instrument known as a “congestion contract” was designed to protect the consumer from sudden increases in electricity’s local cost. Seems eminently reasonable. Nonetheless, the structure became the sweetheart of national hedge fund managers and was very unreasonable. (See NYT) The center of the issue is how the implementation of the instrument responds to profit so quickly. In terms of energy policy, investigators have found this method to be a super-wrong motive, especially for electricity. The main lesson is how the price uses the physical limits of the grid to restrict new development.
The real motive needs to be less about financial managers’ genius and more about steps that decarbonize entire regions in a movement toward a highly diverse energy supply. Unfortunately, this objective is treated very differently in nations that feel “cost spikes” closely enough to know everyone is at risk, and therefore an “everyone” solution is possible.
One of those “everyone” solutions is energy cooperatives that can amass thousands of members that buy thousands of wind turbines, hydropower, biomass, and solar panel installations. A recent Europen count yields 2,400 renewable energy organizations (see REScoops) in 28 countries throughout the European Union. Creating a basis for direct citizen investment in renewables achieves a policy change built on community needs instead of an easily corruptible financial prescription mechanism.
In The Weather Makers, Tim Flannery concludes his review of the earth’s condition with a reminder that change occurs quickly in places where people are willing to shift the model from “accountability to stockholders” to that of your neighbors. The most telling example is his review of the Schönau Concept. Flannery also put a sizeable nail in the sequestration idea by outlining an extensive list of natural and mechanical CO2 collection and storage problems. The forest is essential, but for pure water, more than clean air. The answer rests with the alternative use of power and production.
A community of 2,500 people in the Black Forest put its energy future into its hands. Within twenty-five years, they changed Germany and Europe’s energy culture by taking ownership of their grid portion to turn as much of it as possible into a greener power.3 Small is beautiful.
That community is dense, well-governed, and responsive. By creating a cooperative, as Flannery point’s out, they could as-sure high employment levels and the participation of many outside their ranks to acquire investors and achieve economic fairness with a diverse cultural perspective. In this case, it preferred local insight decision-making to global management behaviors. Therefore, the qualifying factors shifted toward renewable energy sources and energy sharing to assure a safe, natural, and intimate environment. The transparency of a cooperative on its methods and investments that could move with speed and efficiency soon attracted many more towns to join in the idea of local co-generation, wind, and sun investments, so much so that these partnerships on energy alone contributed to community cohesiveness.
The density of the Black Forest’s Schönau (above) is 101 to 250 people per square kilometer of the jurisdiction. The net density of the area is closer to 1,000 people per square kilometer. In the dense setting, the Schönau local energy idea grew strong enough in just five years to implement meaningful change. It may have been created by the geographic confines of Schönau near the Swiss border or connections to the busy conurbations to the north. Still, the social density of the community is the central determinant of creative possibilities. The question soon became whether the “small grid” success of Schönau would cause it to spread beyond Germany. It may not be “in time,” but soon enough.
Power from a solar PV system, fossil fuel generators, wind turbines, or other devices gives micro-grid producers a choice — add energy to the grid or consume the electricity locally. The tradeoff would not become apparent until the Dieselgate scandal broke, and shortly after that, the emission cheating scam (here). The lesson was clear, and there may always be to hurt “the market,” but rare when the practice is cheating oneself.
Questioning reliance on non-renewable fuels is common. However, power-grid disturbances caused by persistent micro-grid connection and disconnection events by local providers slowed the pace of innovation. Still, the effort led the IEEE Standards Board to support the widespread acceptance of smaller grids (IEEE 1547.4) for one reason.
The design, operation, and integration of a distributed resource system within power grids promise to increase end-use efficiency, expand the use of renewable resources and speed the transition from centralized power to local power generation.
Building micro-grids with co-generation power into a super-dense urban world will need better design partners. The most important of these should start with the simplicity of daylight in buildings throughout the day. The principle of seeing and feeling sunshine and natural ventilation assures a basic measure of care. Unfortunately, the backdrop of photovoltaic or passive gain/loss technologies does not compare to well this particular joy of life. It could, but as yet does not.
Architecture and engineering professions remain relatively impotent on this point. These professions can put space in a hierarchy of functions accountable to humanity’s well-being and well ahead of demands meeting short-term, individual needs. However, one of the difficulties in getting improved knowledge is the mistaken belief that this is the correct order. It is the order demanded by the capacity of the individual to trade, supply or demand needs, and desires. A sense of care for the whole of these activities seems void of a lasting form
The urban world of structures and connective tissue still exhibits a “what people want” function and little else. A major American example is the detached single-family house and the inclusion of everything inside, from cars to colanders. In the Schönau small-town example, a higher density “creative workshop environment” was what people employed to be creative. As all these typologies should remain available everywhere, it becomes more than a matter of choice, but only when given the general presumption of societal benefit. When these assumptions begin to have negative effects, indifference to a community’s vital human interests, a change in policy must lead to better ideas.
In September of 2011, economist Ryan Avent’s essay for the New York Times observed how urban density supports creative energy (blog). His research found a doubling of community density increases productivity by 6 to 28 percent. Density and diversity in residential, business and industry clusters may be a measure of creativity that is more accurate than education attainment and more useful than tax policy. It holds and mixes social and economic variables and, in doing so, encourages investment. The confidence to take risks is built on the foundation of sharing them. In one of his more recent essays, he described human history as “a process of social evolution, in which humanity experiments with different ways of doing things and occasionally stumbles on a valuable social innovation which somehow does a better job facilitating collaboration than alternatives.” (from A New Awakening)
The Forest and the City
Atherton calls itself a town, but it is a “gated community” of about six square miles south of San Francisco (map). The median home price fluctuates between $7m and $8.65m, and it has a median household income of $525,000. In grand wealth standards, it considers itself a modest upper-income community not relative to the kind of wealth exhibited by the Hearst Mansion just 200 miles further south toward Los Angeles. Various communities have formed between the Bay and the Pacific alongside conservation areas, preserves, national, state, and local parks, and vast stretches of raw, scrappy Pacific Coast wilderness. Thousands of planning commissions and zoning committees across this reasonably unfragmented area from Seattle to San Diego face constant proposals for increased development annually. The main forces are:
- the necessity of revenue,
- the responsibility to meet the demand for housing, and
- a variety of enticing “new urbanism” concepts
Atherton is a tiny political entity with some land use control powers. (wiki) It can fight off density, but are they in the right place and time to have that power? If you glanced at the map, there is a clear (GSN) question to address for communities such as Atherton. How would this community promote an unfragmented forested scrubland and encourage the stewardship of sustainable low-density? It would be in exchange for sustaining the property to the west as wilderness — between it and the Pacific Ocean. The agriculture and forestry studies show how supporting land use stewardship at low-density and land trust ownership has become a politically powerful sector of our society. The dense urbanism question then becomes one of an eminently trusted environmental design process that is protective.
Low-density suburbs need growth and want to be smart about using tools such as the California Smart Code (here). A key contributor in this market is Duany Platter-Zyberk, known for neologizing the term “new urbanism” and the critique that the idea was neither new nor urban. Nevertheless, their design contribution to the function of urban living. It also grew in concept thanks to the federal policy influence of Henry Cisneros (HUD). It called for social and economic diversity, compact design, walkable and bikeable relief from auto dependence. At the close of the 20th century, these ideas contribute to a better understanding of how a green space network and compact urban living can exhibit the utility of a wilderness urban interface.9
A project on agricultural urbanism is an example (here), and a video presentation (here) describes (2 hrs.) an interest in designing an Agra community that did not move forward. His aside regarding a comparison between the Dubai and Houston Airports suggests more severe problems creating diverse compact urban communities than revenue, housing, and urban systems. Still, the message remains that sprawl’s rise is now contributing to the American Dream’s decline into ghosts worthy of finding. Therefore, I offer the following prompt in closing this section of Density.
Ghosts in the Mega-Regions
For a short time, Technorati was the best source for blog search. It examined the frequency of digital locations to come up with top blogs, tweets, and so on until they stopped in the tsunami of it all. Individuals can Google-Share on their own name with the names of people who share their scientific or abstract ideas. The search for a kind of “intelligent life exchange” has begun. Whether it is a direct link to blogs or websites at the top 20% or in the other 80%, it is now possible to reach every possible realm of human inquiry. Existing and powerful forms of social cooperation will gain a global reach.
The subject of “great wealth” in the mega-urbanized regions and the dark hidden forests of the earth is such a complex subject that it requires a separate discussion on the idea of persuasion. Utilizing political and social action behaviors to alter the massive flow of capital toward the few is a significant problem. The numbers are incomprehensive to the ordinary person. The amount of energy is so vast that only storage can leverage it into use. All of human history has been unpersuasive in creating a non-violent solution to the crisis this represents. If this subject is of central interest to you, take a break and see an application for participation (here).
Dense places such as New York City, Singapore, Hong Kong, or tiny Atherton or Black Forest towns are not just many people in small areas. The density of these places offers an intertwined series of specific markets that explode with the opportunity to experience implementation in the short term. It can be as simple as tasting a new restaurant’s fare or as complex as a code application and design conference for crowdsourcing ideas. The landscape of a dense city presents fundamental ingredients for human creativity.
Think of it this way. Combinations of people (thought best in groups of seven) of varying talents and experience do a better job exploring change and innovation within businesses and governments. The “needs/wants” scale should motivate an authoritative showdown between people and their institutions that go far beyond standard measures of productivity, profitability, and partnership. New urban and technological design practices bring a hierarchy of information already processed by people in institutions sharing common interests. (Tweet-O-Rama)
The mechanized organization of the city gives the appearance of interactive coherence as people move through its streets. Here, one can grasp the entire culture of a region where process and data collide. During periods of gridlocked rush-hours, transit strikes, and post-hurricane gas lines, the heightened sense of everything happening all at once has tangible quality, as if one person tripped, we all fall. Still, these are the essential dimensions of synchronization that continue to create an enduring urban environment.
The observations and subsequent formula of Cornell’s Steven Strogatz were particularly impressive in light of the “social distance” perspective added by medical science to human interaction specific to places where a viral contagion. For example, Strogatz noticed how all of us have seen how birds and fish turn in unison. He points to high threat survival rates among communities in nature that conduct these cohesive exercises. He devised a formula to describe these behaviors that are worthy of connecting to the human urban experience. His mathematical model follows three uncomplicated rules:
- Each (fish, bird, person) is aware of its closest neighbors and responds to them.
- As aware entities moving in the same direction, they enhance the community’s awareness.
- Everyone is attracted to the other within this network and stays about 1-3 body lengths away, depending on the species.
Within the productive structure of natural selection, improper isolation is the big no-no. At the same time, the occurrence is needed to sustain predation and the food/energy chain. It reveals the importance of learned interconnectedness. A set of rules related to the human experience logically extends to life in cities or dense neighborhoods.
Inner and Outer Ghosts
The “fear the bomb” generation and the economic benefits of a car encouraged the spread of city policies through the 20th century. The atomic bomb and auto duality continue to lessen. The 21st century found dense areas are well primed for new investment and a functional public test of the ‘iron dome’ approach to security. On the other hand, the capacity required to apply fairness tests to a “rising tide” and “all boats” demands the capability to implement remedies for the lack of results or penalties as consequences.
The size (>100,000 pop.), poor physical condition, and the bleak outlook of socially and economically distressed cities or “inner city” clearly signifies a comparable “outer city.” In 1968, Whitney M. Young Jr. referred to the American urban condition as the “white noose around the inner city” in an impassioned speech before the American Institute of Architects. He pointed out how and why the United States should resist what much of the world has already produced — vast stretches of distressed populations on the outside and peer in from the edge. It was an invitation to save the city and save the people trapped in them. It was a plea to prevent in America the unfortunate future already exhibited in other world cities. He was staring directly at the builders and designers of America and imploring them to wake up.
For nearly a half-century, the American inner-city confronted an aging infrastructure, concentrations of institutionalized poverty, and low household incomes with distinct racial inequities. Many areas with median household incomes live at half to a third of the outer metro-urban population. Minor increases in living costs could drive half of an area’s families into financial distress.
Finding ways to stimulate business growth in leaking boats and strapless boots communities is made with national investments in local, public sector agencies. The argument for businesses to do the bailing fails without public and nonprofit partners is strong because it is the only way to assure balance in aggregate demand. It provides adequate lessons with results and reduces the short-term odds of failure. The policy of pointing prime resources at professionalizing nonprofit development corporations with sufficient funding helps to identify and fill gaps with the right service at the best time. Attempts to achieve synchronicity and connect inner to outer are now standard efforts in three areas — education, health, and general welfare. Speed of light information data exchanges, less fear of failure is good, but the process remains weak while the data grows stronger. The ghost within the mega-regions is the ether of capital, the effluvium of cash moving away from where it needs to be.
Here is one brief example. A more robust middle between the economic top and bottom remains historically substantial and worsening. Threats push downward on well being the percent increase in vulnerable families is steady. The proof is extant. Examples of actors on the issue, such as Michael E. Porter, are many. A well-received book, Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors (1998), outlines exploring unique niche markets. His strategy’s initiative yields a treasure of rising tide data from extensive research into a business serving low and moderate-income areas.
A major increase in creating active partnerships with professionals on practical problem solving for households in unsafe housing linked to increases in production is needed. Many forms of environmental abuse also require the steady development of relationships (some call it hand-holding) of private investors in ways that improve confidence. The former are often funded at the bottom (some would say in the long tail), and the latter is aloof at the top in the rarefied atmosphere of high finance. The wealth gap has grown to be untenable.
With the success of this work, he founded the Center for Competitive Inner City. An essential part of the center’s work honors the nation’s 100 top companies using his “inner city” criteria. But surprise, this part of the conglomeration is not the most precarious. His grave look at the outer city reveals the same inner-city problems with similar but smaller concentrations spread over much larger areas. Leverage to advantage is no longer enough. Perhaps unseeing, the lines drawn are not dotted for signatures.
The mandate for a viable and lasting social change strategy calls for selecting consulting agencies using crafted, overlapping RFQ/RFP processes that require a “super-uptake” in employment. Unfortunately, most of the nation’s megaregions have a minimum of two state governors, many mayors, city managers, county administrators, and an overlapping collection of public benefit corporations.
Finding the heart of a region connects the common problems shared by the outer and inner cities. The Regional Planning Association (RPA) is a significant contributor to the Northeast megaregion analysis, but they are impoverished. RPA’s insights reveal the critical issue of implementation. They have been right for a half-century. Without regional understanding, there is no plan. The agencies empowered to look across political districts are mission impotent. Building a regionally valid planning agency requires three agents that fuel implementation just to get started. These three components produce the foundation for a tremendous regional authority superseding its States through direct federal employment and education partnerships.
- The first component is a highly defined understanding of the region’s culture as if it was a large corporation.
- Second, detailed knowledge of the region’s significant ecological community or biome, its hydrology, and geography.
- The third component is resource planning for warp speed implementation, which is established with investments in fundamental power-law professionals and a thorough understanding of complexity theory.
Invest in Complexity Theory & Power Laws
The final prompt in this section seeks those who can ground the “operating system” of a regional organization in the region’s culture. If it is sufficient to demand and achieve change in the region’s interest, the culture is robust enough to serve local power interests to the region’s benefit.
Natural systems are unstable by definition and subject to multiple failures by human measure. Mitigating the impact of these failures float above urban resilience and, like a dark funneling cloud, threatens profitability. Complexity theory in natural systems collects a broadening set of algorithms for economic forecasting, budgeting, strategic planning, and risk management. Data analytics is the most rapidly growing field for policymakers, economists, and global corporate and government insight efforts.
Advancement in complexity theory in the vision of The Black Swan (Nassim Nicholas Taleb, 2007) and the offerings of The Long Tail (Chris Anderson, 2006) illustrates industry structures and outcomes as comparable to “natural” systems such as earthquakes or storms.
The Theory of Change applied to the subject of social change as it contributes to the field of strategic planning reveals extremes such as power curves, “push” financing alternatives, to “tax increment” funding to find and acquire leading market share actors and effectively question failures in the distribution of equity. The long tail observation sees a company (or region and environment) with three powerful, digitally defined components: research, products, and people. Power curves and long flat tails are worthless without a coherent analysis leading to actions that people experience routinely in their community’s culture and environment. Changes in the market change cultures. The examples can be positive or negative. A powerful new set of “tally-tools” are needed. Investments in complexity tend to favor the negative to establish the demand for balance, while “fix-it, even if it isn’t broke” activities support new trends. The pressure to settle and protect the whole is growing.
For example, a collision between a Metro-North commuter train and an auto killed five and their restive driver in 2015. In this negative activation of the rail safety of people, digital research using the search terms “New York” + “rail safety” produced over 300,000 search engine references, whereas “New York” + “driver restiveness” alone acquired one blog reference. The clarity with which a regional transportation authority responds to these events directly applies to the rules of culture, natural systems, and complexity theory. Does the transit culture believe this accident to be a sufficient warning? If an investment in preventative barriers or more significant synchronicity is not made, the answer is no.
Complex interacting parts form what we refer to as systems. Whether your thinking is inductive or deductive, the premise (or evidence), whether false or not, is at one end of the process or the other. Understanding combinations of physical parts and human behavior (a restive driver, lack of barrier, a fast train) require placement within more extensive and complex systems.
We cannot understand the details of nervous systems without connecting to the neurological wonder of a more extensive system – the mind. Individuals’ broad swath and form networks based on an ever-widening network of social and economic services. These interactions lead to predictable and unpredictable behavior. Only those that become socially evident offer observers the opportunity to discover a few simple guidelines.
- Arthur C Clark’s first novel is entitled “The City and the Stars.”
- “U.S. Tree Planting for Carbon Sequestration” by Ross W. Gorte Specialist in Natural Resources Policy, published May 4, 2009, by the Congressional Research Service 7-5700 www.crs.gov R40562 Note; Gorte the year before evaluated condition in “The Wilderness: Overview and Statistics.”
- A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and a Vision for the Future is a 2020 book by documentarian David Attenborough and director-producer Jonnie Hughes.
- In 1999, 650 members formed the Elektrizitätswerke Schönau GbR (EWS) cooperative was able to buy the grid, including many citizens of Schönau.
- Gridded Population of the World (GPW), Version 3.0 (v3) beta Publication Place: Palisades, NY Publisher: CIESIN, Columbia University Online Link-age: http://beta.sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/gpw/
- September 3, 2011, New York Times One Path to Better Jobs: More Density in Cities was adapted from his book “The Gated City” as a correspondent for The Economist.
- Google Share aids in understanding data within the web and answers. It works using works by using a single term or phrase to get a certain page count. For example, you enter “Urban Density,” and Google tells you about 350,000 results on the web containing this phrase. Then combine this query with another one, searching “Urban Density” + “Health Statistics,” and the result is 42,700 locations with the addition of scholarly articles (in this case 3) that are cited by others ranging from 64 to 250 times. This result of 350,000 pages can also be expressed as a percentage of the second value concerning the first to express its “Google Share.” In this case, the Google Share of health data associated with urban density is just over 12%. This is a high percentage when “Employment Statistics” is substituted to yield just 15,300 results and a share of just over 4%. Overall this makes interest in health more interesting than employment. Add one word such as “gradient,” a term used in mathematics to define any point on a curve, or in biology as a measure of growth, and the result is 131,000 results or just under a third of the pages using this as a method for comparison. (October 2013)
- Steven Strogatz is the Schurman Professor of applied mathematics at Cornell University, and we like him.
- Duany, Andrés, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck. Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream. New York: North Point Press, 2000