Listen to Radiolab’s “It’s Alive”

We’ve talked about it before on this blog — the idea of the city as an organism.

And now Radiolab has taken on the subject in truly engrossing and wonderful detail. If you don’t already listen to this program, you should. And what better show to start with than “It’s Alive“?

Like all Radiolab shows, “It’s Alive” isn’t just about one thing. It explores a number of ideas, starting with the basic question of  what factors determine a city’s personality or feel — a slippery but undeniable quality of all urban centers. 

The hosts, Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, talk to physicists, professors and mathematicians, all of whom have different ways to measure and analyze the “DNA” of a city — from comparing the talking and walking speed and how long it takes to make change for a $20 bill in cities across the globe, to exploring how New York City’s system of running water affected its population and development.

Is there a logic that holds cities together? Do cities make us, or do we make them? Are cities healthy organisms or tumors? These are some of the questions “It’s Alive” addresses. Listen in. You won’t be disappointed. (Thanks, Sarah, for the heads-up!)

Image: The Nonist

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