Does each city have its own development DNA?
That, said Dr Kiril Stailov, is what his research suggests. He spent six months inputting data from Ordinance survey maps of West London which regularly (every 20 years or so) tracked changes in the built environment. He used forecasting theory to predict not the future, but what was trended to happen. Ignoring the last two maps, he used a forecasting program to predict what should happen based on what had gone before, and the results closely mapped what actually did happen.
Ofcourse, he had a role in guiding expecting development, telling the program not to build on existing parks for example. But he claims the program did forecast a number of development areas in the right places.
Whichled him to believe there might be a development DNA, specific to each city, a mixture of nature and nurture (the way we have always done things).
Orcould it just be that development happens around modes of transport? Only more research can tell….
His talk was entitled “Tracking the Evolution of a Metropolis: the growth of West London, 1875-2005.” It was the first London Planning Seminar of the season and was held at The Bartlett.