Emily Badger, reporting for the Atlantic Cities:
Bettencourt, in a paper published today in the journal Science, finally offers up an answer that borrows a bit from physics, economics, sociology, biology and a handful of other disparate reaches of science. We can never get the analogy quite right, he says, because cities are a thing that is found nowhere else in nature.
“We tend to look at things by the way they look, by form,” he says. And this is why most of our existing metaphors fail. “All the successful theories of science are not about form at all – they’re about function. They’re about how things develop, how things change. They’re about process.”