Fractal Cities: A Geometry of Form and Function

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9780124555709: Fractal Cities: A Geometry of Form and Function

Fractal Cities is the pioneering study of the development and use of fractal geometry for understanding and planning the physical form of cities, showing how this geometry enables cities to be simulated throughcomputer graphics. The book explains how the structure of cities evolve in ways which at first sight may appear irregular, but when understood in terms of fractals reveal a complex and diverse underlying order. The book includes numerous illustrations and 16 pages full-color plates of stunning computer graphics, along with explanations of how to construct them. The authors provide an accessible and thought-provoking introduction to fractal geometry, as well as an exciting visual understanding of the formof cities. This approach, bolstered by new insights into the complexity of social systems, provides one of the best introductions to fractal geometry available for non-mathematicians and social scientists.
Fractal Cities is useful as a textbook for courses on geographic information systems, urban geography, regional science, and fractal geometry. Planners and architects will find that many aspects of fractal geometry covered in this book are relevant to their own interests. Those involved in fractals and chaos, computer graphics, and systems theory will also find important methods and examples germane to their work.
Michael Batty is Director of the National Center for Geographic Information and analysis in the State University of New York at Buffalo, and has worked in planning theory and urban modeling. Paul Longley is a lecturer in geography at the University of Bristol, and is involved in the development of geographic information systems in urban policy analysis.

Richly illustrated, including 16 pages of full-color plates of brilliant computer graphics
Provides an introduction to fractal geometry for the non-mathematician and social scientist
Explains the influence of fractals on the evolution of the physical form of cities

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Review:

Welcome to the 21st century. Michael Batty and Paul Longley conduct a mind-boggling tour around and through the edges and sharp angles of a geometric kaleidoscope called the fractal city....The authors argue in a well-written introductory chapter that as cities evolve they take on certain types of geometric forms that remain with the city as size (and scale) changes....An excellent introduction to the subject of fractals is provided. The authors carefully explain the jargon, themathematical relationships, and the form of the best known fractal structures....The geometry of form is a fascinating subject, especially if it is as well presented and illustrated as it is in this beautifully produced book.
--ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING
It is very understandable, and nicely presented with an abundance of examples to help the reader through....Fractal Cities is a well written, beautifully presented description of some new and fascinating results. It should be read by anyone interested in the new ideas that are changing the natural and social sciences today.
--TOWN PLANNING REVIEW
The book contains sixteen pages of stunning computer graphics and explanations of how to construct them, as well as new insightsinto the complexity of social systems. The authors provide a gentle and intelligible introduction to fractal geometry as well as an exciting visual understanding of the form of cities, thus providing one of the best introductions to fractal geometry available for non-mathemeticians and social scientists.
The main message of the book should be well received. Indeed, from the evidence provided here, cities do seem to display fractal properties. For that reason the book will be an important contribution tourban theory...the book is an elegant and enjoyable read...What is undoubtedly true, is that Fractal Cities is a huge addition to the stock of material we have on urban dynamics.
--G. Clarke, University of Leeds, in ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING B: PLANNING AND DESIGN
Except for one striking feature, Fractal Cities looks and feels like a coffee table book. Lavishly produced with 26 colour plates and 149 other figures, it begins with an elegant account of the shape of cities from the dawn of civilisation to thepresent. Interwoven with this account is a discussion of our changing conceptions of space and time. What is striking is that, at the end of the first chapter, the authors begin to turn their geometrical argument into algebraic form, ignoring the old publishing adage that each successive equation halves the number of sales. As a result, the book is as serious as it is beautiful.
There is little doubt that Fractal Cities will be a great success. It is fitting that a book which touches on the aesthetic qualities of urban form should be so beautifully produced, but this is not the only reason for congratulating the publishers. This book will have both an immediate effect on our thinking about cities and a lasting impact on some of the grand ideas of geography and planning.
--BILL MACMILLAN, University of Oxford, in Mapping Awareness<$>

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Batty, Michael, Longley, Paul
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