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Fellows Directory

Michael Batty

Professor Michael Batty CBE FBA FRS


Elected: 2009


Michael Batty is an urban planner who set himself the task of understanding the city as a system that could be studied with the tools of mathematics and computing. Beginning with theoretical conceptions of the city that modelled simplified sets of variables, Michael has since taken a more real-world, bottom-up approach based on the actions of individual agents.

He has drawn on complexity theory and fractal geometry to understand the growth of the city as a self-organising system whose evolution is unpredictable from its initial configuration. Working alongside architects and planners, he has been continuously inventive in making visual representations of data from his highly influential mathematical analyses.

An evangelist for his methods, Michael is the author of books including Cities and Complexity (2005), which won the Alonso Prize of the Regional Science Association in 2010, and The New Science of Cities (2013). He was made a CBE in 2004 for services to geography, and is also a Fellow of the British Academy.

Professional positions

Bartlett Professor of Planning, Centre For Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London (UCL)

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Adaptive systems, Animal models, Cities, Genome complexity, Simulation languages, Social Physics, Visualisation