For decades, urbanists have been thinking about cities as organisms. They take in resources, eject waste, spread and grow. Theoretical physicist Geoffrey West decided to put the idea through the mathematical ringer. So, are cities like organisms? Yes. And no.
If we think of cities as organisms, their DNA is the hodgepodge of rules that shape development. Urban planner Emily Talen talks about how city zoning, coding and laws got started, and how they need to be changed to help us build more livable cities.