Luís Bettencourt - "Introduction to Urban Science" - Scott G. Ortman

Thursday, October 28, 2021 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Event Presenter/Author: 
Luís Bettencourt

Join us for a conversation with Luís Bettencourt on his book, Introduction to Urban Science: Evidence and Theory of Cities as Complex Systems. He will be joined in discussion by Scott G. Ortman.

Presented in Partnership with The Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation at the University of Chicago

Virtual Event

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About the book: In Introduction to Urban Science: Evidence and Theory of Cities as Complex Systems, Luís M.A. Bettencourt, inaugural director of the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation at the University of Chicago, describes a novel approach to understanding cities as complex, adaptive systems, going beyond existing theory in sociology, geography, and economics to articulate a new discipline called urban science. Bettencourt explores the processes unleashed by urban life and shows how an urban science framework can be applied to develop innovative approaches to some of the most intractable issues cities face today, like inequality, crime, and the climate crisis.

About the author: Luís M. A. Bettencourt is the Inaugural Director of the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation and Professor of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, as well as an External Professor of Complex Systems at the Santa Fe Institute. Trained as a theoretical physicist, he earned his undergraduate degree from Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon, Portugal; his Ph.D. from Imperial College London; and has held postdoctoral positions at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and MIT’s Center for Theoretical Physics. Bettencourt has worked extensively on complex systems theory and urbanization, creating new, interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the human condition in urban environments and why cities are such singular sources of change in human societies.

About the interlocutor: Scott G. Ortman is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado Boulder, an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute, and a research affiliate of the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. He is also Director of the Center for Collaborative Synthesis in Archaeology within the Institute of Behavioral Science at CU Boulder, Principal Investigator of the Social Reactors Project, and co-director of the CU/Pojoaque Youth Culture Camp. Ortman’s research focuses on the contemporary relevance of archaeological research and findings. He is author or co-author of numerous papers on archaeological demography, complex systems approaches in archaeology, and Pueblo Indian historical anthropology; his books include Winds from the North: Tewa Origins and Historical Anthropology (University of Utah Press, 2012) Painted Reflections: Isomeric Design in Ancestral Pueblo Pottery (with Joseph Traugott, Museum of New Mexico Press, 2018), and Reframing the Northern Rio Grande Pueblo Economy (editor, University of Arizona Press, 2019).

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