17 February 2012

Fractal Cities by Dr. Michael Batty and Dr. Paul Longley available free on-line

l For those interested in using fractal analysis to understand urban form, Dr. Batty’s and Dr. Longley's seminal
book, Fractal Cities: A Geometry of Form and Function  is still the most comprehensive work on this subject. It is now available for free in pdf format at: http://www.fractalcities.org/ . Dr. Batty's excellent follow-up book Cities and Complexity: Understanding Cities with Cellular Automata, Agent-Based Models and Fractals  is available through MIT Press and other sources. Hopefully, one day this book will also be available on-line

For other online papers concerning spatial analysis, many with an urban focus and several  on aspects of fractal analysis, and agent based modeling, go to website of the Barlett School Centre for Spatial Analysis (CASA) of at the University College of London which Dr. Batty is  associated  at: http://www.bartlett.ucl.ac.uk/ 

My own work and many others who are now conducting research on urbanization using fractal analysis of cities were influenced by Dr. Batty’s and Dr. Longley's book.  While doing my dissertation at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on the land use impacts of an airport on urban structure/morphology,  one of my advisers, Bill Huxhold, a pioneer in GIS, recommended that I read this book.  In a ‘fractal-like’ manner, this book and its ideas were mentioned in the context of the dissertation, but at this time, I had not delved into the application of fractal analysis and complexity to urban form.  Later, I published some papers directly related to fractal analysis of urban form and ‘spun’ off to other areas such as using the metaphors of complexity theory, including fractals, to understand urban processes and provide new ways to approach urban planning in the Post-Modern era. I also delved into agent-based modeling and its integration with  Spatial Technology and developed several courses in the area. It was my great fortune to meet with both authors about ten years later. This are is so vast and fast developing that anyone who says that they are an expert in applications of complexity theory, fractal and agent-based modeling to urbanization, is probably mistaken.  I gladly accept that I am a novice and trudge on marveling, musing, exploring and ‘weaving tales’ (writing papers etc.) in the manner of a the manner of a metaphorical ‘shaman.’

I have recently co-edited a book along with two of my colleagues Ivani Vassoler-Froelich , and JesúsTreviño-Cantú, The Geography, Politics, and Architecture of Cities: Studies in the Creation and Complexification of Culture which includes two my articles, one on complexity theory and the other urban morphology.  There are also other excellent articles pertaining to other aspects of urbanism. It is published by The Edwin Mellen Press is available for ordering directly through the publisher at http://www.mellenpress.com/mellenpress.cfm?bookid=8568&pc=9 . It is also available through Amazon and Barnes and Nobles by searching on the title.  This represents a good book for not only as a reference for those teach or conduct research in urbanism, but also is one that it is enjoyable to read and is approachable even if you are not a urbanist.

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