City Science: A Chaotic Concept – And an Enduring Imperative

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate (Academic Journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Amid widespread enthusiasm for ‘scientific’ approaches to reading and understanding the city, driven by the increasing availability of ‘big data’ and sophisticated tech-driven analytics, we call for greater clarity in the terms and genealogies of the ‘new’ sciences of the urban. We appeal to those observing and participating in the latest manifestations of ‘city science’ to recognize the intellectual and practical inheritance of their urban craft. At the same time, we call for planners and social scientists, who would be critical of the emergence of city sciences, to move beyond longstanding debates of previous decades, and to engage more meaningfully and productively with new analytical approaches to understanding and intervening in urban processes. It is only through sustained intellectual engagements that we can hope to develop the new sciences of the city as an art, and to respond effectively to the global nature of the urban challenges that confront us.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPlanning Theory & Practice
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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