Cities are like organisms

Cities are often thought of as organisms just like elephants or sharks or frogs .But as these organisms get larger they become slower ,using less energy.Cities ,as they grow larger, create more wealth and become more innovative in survival mechanisms.

Jose Lobo “Growth, innovation, scaling and the pace of life in cities,” in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

The funny thing is that actual experience with our cities is different .Up to a point the city grows and then stagnation sets in .For example ,while the city of Hyderabad grew from a population size of 2 million in 1990’s to the present size of 6 million mainly due to the IT boom which acted as the driver for the growth , Chennai remained stagnant over the past several years.The same story can be found in medium sized cities which once promised great growth potential but have not grown much e.g Vijayawada ,Vadodara etc. The comparison with organisms should therefore be valid in case of most of the cities.

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