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Science and the city

More than half of humanity now lives in cities, and the urban population is swelling by a million people each week. That concentration of people gives rise to some of the world's greatest problems, but also to its greatest innovations. Nature examines the special relationship between scientists and cities and how each can bring out the best in the other.

Image Credit : Oliver Munday



News Features

  • The urban equation

    With the majority of the human population now living in cities, Nature takes a look at the implications for scientists.

    Nature 467, 899 ( )

  • The century of the city

    The explosion in urban population looks set to continue through the twenty-first century, presenting challenges and opportunities for scientists.

    Nature 467, 900-901 ( )

  • Environment: Mexico's scientist in chief

    After winning a Nobel prize for helping to protect the planet, Mario Molina is tackling a much more difficult problem - trying to clean up Mexico City.

    Nature 467, 902-905 ( )


  • Save our cities

    Scientists researching problems such as water management should focus more on urban areas.

    Nature 467, 883-884 ( )

  • Cities lead the way in climate-change action

    Scientists should do the research to help mayors prepare for a warming world, say Cynthia Rosenzweig, William Solecki, Stephen A. Hammer and Shagun Mehrotra.

    Nature 467, 909–911 ( )

  • A unified theory of urban living

    It is time for a science of how city growth affects society and environment, say Luis Bettencourt and Geoffrey West.

    Nature 467, 912–913 ( )

  • Climate economics: Hot in the city

    Robert Buckley cautions that financial incentives alone will not fuel urban adaptation to climate change.

    Nature 467, 915–916 ( )

  • Synthetic biology: Living quarters

    Synthetic biology could offer truly sustainable approaches to the built environment, predict Rachel Armstrong and Neil Spiller.

    Nature 467, 916–918 ( )


  • Nature podcast

    On the streets of London, Richard Van Noorden tells Charlotte Stoddart which cities are best for science and why.