Ancient cities grew just like modern ones, guided by universal social networks

February 21, 2015 12:33 AM

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Some 500 years ago, the mighty Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan wasn’t all that different from New York today, or any major city for that matter – both cities grew under the same rules, independent of political or economic systems.

Scott Ortman, an anthropologist at University of Colorado, Boulder, heard a talk in Mexico City about a previous research which suggested that cities have this intrinsic characteristic of increasing productivity or economic returns to scale. In the talk, Luis Bettencourt, who studies complex syste...

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