In 2000, Stephen Hawking dubbed the 21st century the ‘century of complexity’. UK urban planning expert Prof Michael Batty agrees and argues that as our cities become more complex and interconnected we’ll need to find new ways of making sense of them.

Prof Batty, from University College London, is in Melbourne this week to take part in an international forum ‘Sustainability and the City’. He will be presenting some of the most important developments in urban systems complexity studies and previewing key topics in his upcoming book, The New Science of Cities.

“With the world urbanising faster than ever before, more of what we do will take place in cities,” says Prof Batty.

“As cities become more complex we urgently need new ways of thinking to make sense of how cities are merging and interconnecting globally.”

Melbourne skyline

Image: Klomiz/Flickr

Organised by CSIRO, with support from the University of Melbourne and the City of Melbourne, the ‘Sustainability and the City’ symposium will examine the latest science developments in urban research and explore the challenges and opportunities of a sustainable urban future.

Those taking part in the conversation include CSIRO science leader Dr Greg Foliente, Prof Peter Newman of the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute and Prof Bob Stimson of the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network.

Prof Newman, who is widely respected for his impact in both academia and practice, will present new ideas based on the ‘theory of urban fabrics’, which underpins the science and practice of planning cities.

Melbourne residents have a rare opportunity to hear and interact with this international panel of urban sustainability experts at the public forum on 12 June, Melbourne Town Hall from 3-7 pm.

More information about the symposium


Chris Johnson – Communication Manager

CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship

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