What is Urban Dynamics? It’s a fancy name for the study of cities by way of the scientific method and mathematics. But it’s an important name nonetheless; and the credit of the name ought to go to Jay W. Forrester. He’s the scientist (electrical engineer by training) who proposed the idea in his book Urban Dynamics back in the 1960’s. However, it is that very book that drew yours truly into the field of systems science.
Cities are dynamical places. There is a lot going on. Actually, that is an understatement. But as a natural consequence of residing in one place and the industrial revolution, our species invented and developed cities, and without much guidance I might add. The best word to use for such a circumstance is “emerge.” Cities emerged over the past few hundred years. But so have the problems and the respective personalities of cities. Urban Dynamics helps city scientists understand such things.