Saturday, 6 April 2019

May 8: Lecture by Prof Michael Batty at ÖAW

On the occasion of receiving the 2019 Waldo-Tobler GIScience Award, Prof Michael Batty (CASA - UCL) will present a lecture on "Using Simulation to Explore and Invent the Future City".
  • Where: ÖAW Theatersaal, Sonnenfelsgasse 19, 1010 Wien
  • When: May 8, 4ct
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Using Simulation to Explore and Invent the Future City 
Michael Batty - The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) University College London:
The analysis of spatial relationships between the location of different activities and land uses in cities is key to our understanding of how cities function. We live in an era when cities are no longer regarded as places where congestion, pollution and poor quality of life are their main characteristics but where cities are lauded for the environments they provide for diversity and innovation which are the engines of prosperity in the modern economy. In this talk, I will sketch what we have learnt about the city during the last 150 years introducing the notion that cities are complex systems that are continually evolving, always in disequilibrium, and getting ever more complex as societies get wealthier and we move headlong into the information age. Despite that fact that we have many different kinds of analysis and model which aspire to understand different elements of the city, cities are evolving faster than we are able to develop new theory in their explanation prior to any thinking about their future. We will thus sketch the key models involved and the dilemmas that they pose for our better understanding of urban phenomena. To illustrate these ideas, we will outline our ambitious attempt to model all cities in Great Britain at the same spatial levels we have previously been doing for individual cities. We will explain why we have developed a web-based resource rather than a model where the analysis and simulation is on the desktop. This introduces the idea that to understand and plan the future city we need to provide tools that enable as many stakeholders as possible to be involved. We achieve this by developing models that are available anywhere a user has a web connection, thus providing a tool that any stakeholder can use to test a planning scenario whose impact can be anywhere within the nation. We have developed the model for Great Britain because of the need to look at such national impacts, particularly of new infrastructure projects, thus attempting to simulate as many interactions as possible. The model is called QUANT (Quantitative Urban ANalytics forecasting) and is available at