Over the years many of us have seen and even used Alain Bertaud's iconic graphic comparing Atlanta and Barcelona. The graphic is a
powerful visual image exemplifying the high cost of inefficient urban land use.
Technology is catching up to the genius urbanists such as Richard Wurman (founder of TED talks) and Alain's mindset. Indeed, Richard Wurman and a team from ESRI and Radical Media have developed an exciting new application http://www.urbanobservatory.org/compare/index.html
Initially with data for 16 cities you can prepare your own side by side spatial comparisons of key urban characteristics. Among the cities include
Abu Dhavi, Auckland, Chicago, Delhi, Hamburg, Jo'burg, London, Los Angeles, Milan, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Rotterdam Singapore and Tokyo.
For more details please see the article in http://www.fastcoexist.com/1682536/the-urban-observatory-a-new-way-to-compare-cities-from-the-creator-of-ted#5
Stay tuned for exciting news from the World Bank with respect to mapping urban expansion and the implications to make a compelling case for resource efficient metropolitan urban growth. Within the World Bank the East Asia Pacific infrastrucure group is working on graphic display of urban expansion in 1,500 cities and South Asia is also undertaking exciting spatial analysis of urban growth.