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Model cities

Batty, M; (2007) Model cities. (CASA Working Papers 113). UCL (University College London), Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (UCL): London, UK. Green open access


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The term ?model? is now central to our thinking about how weunderstand and design cities. We suggest a variety of ways inwhich we use ?models?, linking these ideas to Abercrombie?sexposition of Town and Country Planning which represented thestate of the art fifty years ago. Here we focus on using models asphysical representations of the city, tracing the development ofsymbolic models where the focus is on simulating how functiongenerates form, to iconic models where the focus is on representingthe geometry of form in both two and three dimensions. Our questis to show how digital representation enables us to merge andmanipulate form into function and vice versa, linking traditionalarchitectural representation to patterns of land use and movement.Mathematics holds the key to simulation of many kinds andcomputers now enable us to move effortlessly from the materialworld of atoms to the ethereal world of bits and back. These newtools also provide us with powerful ways of showing how the real isable to morph into the ideal and vice versa. We argue that thisdigital world which parallels the material, now gives usunprecedented power to understand and explore cities in ways thatAbercrombie could only speculate upon, and we conclude byanticipating how we might respond to the new challenges posed byunlimited access to these virtual worlds.

Type: Working / discussion paper
Title: Model cities
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Additional information: Imported via OAI, 7:29:01 23rd May 2007
UCL classification: UCL > School of BEAMS
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/3378
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