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Commuting in a polycentric city


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Commuting in a polycentric city
Topic: Society 7:53 am EST, Feb  1, 2010

Camille Roth, Soong Moon Kang, Michael Batty, and Marc Barthelemy:

The spatial arrangement of urban hubs and centers and how individuals interact with these centers is a crucial problem with many applications ranging from urban planning to epidemiology. We utilize here in an unprecedented manner the large scale, real-time 'Oyster' card database of individual person movements in the London subway to reveal the structure and organization of the city. We show that patterns of intraurban movement are strongly heterogeneous in terms of volume, but not in distance, and that there is a polycentric structure composed of simple flow patterns organized around a limited number of activity centers arranged in a hierarchical way. This new understanding can shed light on the impact of new urban projects on the evolution of the polycentric configuration of a city and provides an initial approach to modeling flows in an urban system.

An exchange, circa 2008:

Charlie Rose: Don't you think we've milked this for about as much as we can, Richard?

Richard Florida: I hope not, Charlie. I hope not.


The Voluntary Milking System (VMS) allows cows to decide when to be milked, and gives dairy farmers a more independent lifestyle, free from regular milkings.

Sterling Hayden:

Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

Nate Silver:

Perhaps the only good thing about losing your job is that you no longer have to endure the drive to work.

Commuting in a polycentric city

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