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Towards Urbanome the genome of the city to enhance the form and function of future cities

Journal article
Authors Lidia Morawska
Wendy Miller
Matt Riley
Prashant Kumar
Marie Thynell
Published in Nature Communications
Volume (2019) 10:4014
ISSN 2041-1723
Publication year 2019
Published at School of Global Studies
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-...
Keywords Environmental impact Environmental social sciences Sustainability
Subject categories Peace and development research

Abstract

The health of the city depends on how well all the elements of this system are interconnected and operating in harmony. Here the authors introduced the concept of urbanome which is analogous to the human genome that can be used to characterise the form and functioning of cities. Over the past one hundred years or so a significant shift has occurred in human population distribution worldwide: from 13% of people living in cities in 1900 to 55% 2018, with a further expected increase to 68% by 2050. This incredibly fast change, taking place within the lifespan of two or three human generations, is in fact a blink in the history of humanity. What framework can encompass the complexity of the system to help us understand it and manage our cities to the greatest extent possible? To do this, we propose to construct the urbanome, a framework to characterise cities and people living in them in a holistic manner.

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