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05 DEC 2019 (THU) | 19:00 - 20:00



Bartlett Professor of Planning

Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis

University College London, The United Kingdom


05 DECEMBER 2019 (THU)


19:00 - 20:00



Institute of Transport Studies, The University of Hong Kong


As the digital revolution gathers pace and as computers spread out all around us into the city, it is transport that is first being dramatically affected by the development of new markets for demand and supply which are mediated in digital or virtual terms. The way we now use public transport using personal devices which enable us to pay, the way transit is supplied and the communication of information about timetabling and disruption and so on in real time to our devices, the way individual transport is being radicalised using new platforms such as Uber and Uber pool, all of these are transforming the way we move in cities. Moreover we are also getting much better data about more aggregate patterns of movement from synthesising Census data with mobile phone calls, the use of smart cards in retailing, and the development of new travel data revealed through crowd-sourcing. All this is pushing us ever faster to the development of new approaches to understanding and planning mobility, to a new science in fact.

In this talk I will speculate on what this science might look like drawing on my own work which involves representing and modelling flows between locations in the city with respect to the high frequency city – what happens on a second by second basis – all the way through the low frequency city where we are able to examine how movement patterns change over years and decades. The talk will conclude by suggesting that we need very new approaches to thinking about cities in the future, not only with respect to mobility but also with respect to how urban form will change in response to new ways in which we are able to communicate.

Reference: M. Batty (2018) Inventing Future Cities, MIT Pres, Cambridge, MA.


Michael Batty is Bartlett Professor of Planning at University College London where he is Chair of the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA). He has worked on computer models of cities and their visualisation since the 1970s and has published several books, such as Cities and Complexity (MIT Press, 2005) and The New Science of Cities (MIT Press, 2013). Both books won the Alonso Prize of the North American Regional Science Association. His most recent book Inventing Future Cities was published by MIT Press in late 2018. His blogs cover the science underpinning the technology of cities and his posts and lectures on big data and smart cities are at Prior to his current position, he was Professor of City Planning and Dean of the School of Environmental Design at the University of Wales at Cardiff from 1979 to 1990 and then Director of the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis at the State University of New York at Buffalo from 1990 to 1995. He is a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA) and the Royal Society (FRS), was awarded the CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2004 and the 2013 recipient of the Lauréat Prix International de Géographie Vautrin Lud. In 2015 he received the Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society for his work on the science of cities. In 2016, he received the Senior Scholar Award of the Complex Systems Society and the Gold Medal of the Royal Town Planning Institute. In 2018, he was awarded the Waldo Tobler prize for GI Science of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and in 2019, he was elected as a Fellow of the Regional Science Association.

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