Science and the City

Science and the City : The Mechanics Behind the Metropolis

3.76 (198 ratings by Goodreads)
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Cities are a big deal. More people now live in them than don't, and with a growing world population, the urban jungle is only going to get busier in the coming decades. But how often do we stop to think about what makes our cities work?

Cities are built using some of the most creative and revolutionary science and engineering ideas - from steel structures that scrape the sky to glass cables that help us communicate at the speed of light - but most of us are too busy to notice. Science and the City is your guidebook to that hidden world, helping you to uncover some of the remarkable technologies that keep the world's great metropolises moving.

Laurie Winkless takes us around cities in six continents to find out how they're dealing with the challenges of feeding, housing, powering and connecting more people than ever before. In this book, you'll meet urban pioneers from history, along with today's experts in everything from roads to time, and you will uncover the vital role science has played in shaping the city around you. But more than that, by exploring cutting-edge research from labs across the world, you'll build your own vision of the megacity of tomorrow, based on science fact rather than science fiction.

Science and the City is the perfect read for anyone curious about the world they live in.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 135 x 216 x 27.94mm | 443g
  • Bloomsbury Sigma
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black and white illustrations throughout
  • 1472913213
  • 9781472913210
  • 457,484

Table of contents

1. Up: The most visible part of a city's skyline is the skyscraper - do you know how they're built?
2. Switch: Sparks will fly - we'll explore the role of electricity, and you'll understand how the grid works
3. Wet: Cities can't survive without water, and they produce a lot of waste. Expect toilet humour!
4. Way: Let's head out on the open road, and explore beautiful bridges and the science of traffic jams
5. Drive: What good is a road without a car? Here we'll talk about everything from tyres to fuel cells
6. Loco: We'll dig our very own tunnel, and you'll discover why 'leaves on the line' cause problems
7. Connect: Cities contain other less obvious networks - food and goods, communications and money
8. City: Spend a day of discovery in an imaginary future city
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Review quote

In one relatively short book, Winkless manages to seamlessly cover everything from the definition of a kilowatt-hour to an explanation of how machine learning could have a lasting impact on traffic-signal timing. * Science * Offers a unique insight into the revolutionary thinking that is shaping big cities around the world. * Sunday Times * Provides a fun and engaging insight into how cutting-edge technology is shaping our cities. Winkless's love of science and curiosity shines through. * Irish Independent * If you are looking for a guide to the city, look no further than this book. Its got attitude and humour delightfully balanced by Winkless' insight and clarity. -- Mark Miodownik, Professor of Materials at UCL, UK, and author of Stuff Matters This book is an engaging read, opening our eyes to the extraordinary science underpinning the urban world that is all too easy to take for granted. Looking both back, to how the cities have developed, and forward with a bit of informed crystal-ball gazing, the author conveys the challenges we face and the technology we have and need to develop to continue to thrive. -- Dame Athene Donald, Professor of Experimental Physics and Master of Churchill College, University of Cambridge This book is a wonderful source of fascinating information. It is future-looking also, describing the technology that will change the world we live in. A very readable book, for all inquisitive folk! -- Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Visiting Professor of Astrophysics, University of Oxford Fascinating, lucid and entertaining; her infectious enthusiasm for the subject lights up every page. -- John O'Farrell, comedy scriptwriter and author of The Man Who Forgot His Wife
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About Laurie Winkless

Laurie Winkless is a physicist and writer, currently based in London. Following a degree at Trinity College Dublin, a placement at NASA's Kennedy Space Centre, and a masters in Space Science at UCL, Laurie worked at the National Physical Laboratory, specialising in materials. Thermoelectric energy harvesting - where heat is captured and converted into electricity - was her bag, and remains a favourite topic of conversation.

Laurie has been communicating science to the public for more than a decade, working with schools and universities, the Royal Society, Forbes, and the Naked Scientists, amongst others. She's given TEDx talks, hung out with astronauts, and appeared in The Times magazine as a leading light in STEM. Science and the City is her first book.

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Rating details

198 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 23% (45)
4 40% (79)
3 29% (58)
2 8% (15)
1 1% (1)
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