The ever inspiring and engaging duo of Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich who compose WNYC’s Radiolab assembled this provocative podcast back in October 2008 exploring the underlying myths, mathematics and magic that may explain the personality of our urban centers.
In this hour of Radiolab, we take to the street to ask what makes cities tick.
There’s no scientific metric for measuring a city’s personality. But step out on the sidewalk, and you can see and feel it. Two physicists explain one tidy mathematical formula that they believe holds the key to what drives a city. Yet math can’t explain most of the human-scale details that make urban life unique. So we head out in search of what the numbers miss, and meet a reluctant city dweller, a man who’s walked 700 feet below Manhattan, and a once-thriving community that’s slipping away.