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Physicist Geoffrey West has found that simple, mathematical laws govern the properties of cities -- that wealth, crime rate, walking speed and many other aspects of a city can be deduced from a single number: the city's population. In this mind-bending talk from TEDGlobal he shows how it works and how similar laws hold for organisms and corporations.
For those who felt that Geoffrey glossed over the implications for cities and companies, the following article in the New York Times did a respectable job of drawing conclusions from Dr. West's paper:
dejanpetkow on 2011-10-27Tokyo has a very large population and one of the smallest crime rates in the world, in fact Tokyo is known to be the safest big city in the world (w.r.t. crime). It is hard to believe that the crime rate in L.A. is in the same order of magnitude.