Welcome to the 21st century. Michael Batty and Paul Longley conduct a mind-boggling tour around and through the edges and sharp angles of a geometric kaleidoscope called the fractal city....The authors argue in a well-written introductory chapter that as cities evolve they take on certain types of geometric forms that remain with the city as size (and scale) changes....An excellent introduction to the subject of fractals is provided. The authors carefully explain the jargon, the mathematical relationships, and the form of the best known fractal structures....The geometry of form is a fascinating subject, especially if it is as well presented and illustrated as it is in this beautifully produced book.
--ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING
It is very understandable, and nicely presented with an abundance of examples to help the reader through....Fractal Cities is a well written, beautifully presented description of some new and fascinating results. It should be read by anyone interested in the new ideas that are changing the natural and social sciences today.
--TOWN PLANNING REVIEW
The book contains sixteen pages of stunning computer graphics and explanations of how to construct them, as well as new insights into the complexity of social systems. The authors provide a gentle and intelligible introduction to fractal geometry as well as an exciting visual understanding of the form of cities, thus providing one of the best introductions to fractal geometry available for non-mathemeticians and social scientists.
The main message of the book should be well received. Indeed, from the evidence provided here, cities do seem to display fractal properties. For that reason the book will be an important contribution to urban theory...the book is an elegant and enjoyable read...What is undoubtedly true, is that Fractal Cities is a huge addition to the stock of material we have on urban dynamics.
--G. Clarke, University of Leeds, in ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING B: PLANNING AND DESIGN
Except for one striking feature, Fractal Cities looks and feels like a coffee table book. Lavishly produced with 26 colour plates and 149 other figures, it begins with an elegant account of the shape of cities from the dawn of civilisation to the present. Interwoven with this account is a discussion of our changing conceptions of space and time. What is striking is that, at the end of the first chapter, the authors begin to turn their geometrical argument into algebraic form, ignoring the old publishing adage that each successive equation halves the number of sales. As a result, the book is as serious as it is beautiful.
There is little doubt that Fractal Cities will be a great success. It is fitting that a book which touches on the aesthetic qualities of urban form should be so beautifully produced, but this is not the only reason for congratulating the publishers. This book will have both an immediate effect on our thinking about cities and a lasting impact on some of the grand ideas of geography and planning.
--BILL MACMILLAN, University of Oxford, in Mapping Awareness<$>