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Sie sind hier: Startseite Veranstaltungen The City as a Complex System: A Statistical Physicist’s Point of View

Termin: 10.02.2016 Uhrzeit: 18:00 - 19:30

The City as a Complex System: A Statistical Physicist’s Point of View

Reihe: Perspektiven der Moderne


Dr. Marc Barthélemy - Institut de Physique Theorique, CEA-IPhT, CNRS URA 2306 & Centre d’Analyse et de Mathématique Sociales, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS)




Many disciplines addressed some theoretical problems posed by urban systems and produced either very abstract models, or, at the other extreme, simulations with a very large number of parameters and designed for a specific area. In parallel, theoretical statistical physics made some important conceptual advances during the XXth century in the study of the collective behavior of systems made of a large number of interacting constituents. Among the most important findings, the notions of emergence, phase transitions, minimal models and relevant parameters are the ones that are general enough and that might find applications outside of the traditional field of study of physics. In addition to these theoretical arguments, we witnessed recently the availability of large amounts of data about cities coming from various sources. This data availability combined with the exciting theoretical perspective that the city is an emergent phenomenon, triggered the interest about cities of physicists and applied mathematicians and opens the possibility of finding minimal models consistent with measures. I will illustrate with the concept of scaling this type of interdisciplinary approach that uses ideas and tools from statistical physics of disordered systems, quantitative geography, and spatial economics. In particular, I will discuss the behavior with city size of different quantities characterizing cities at a large scale and discuss the consequences of these empirical findings.

Perspektiven der Moderne



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