Monday, May 21, 2007

Brazil's Hubs

What distinguishes a metropolis from a regular city is the number of relevant connections to the hinterland. Metropolises are gateways to regions and cities with their own expertise. What Google is to the Internet, São Paulo is to Latin America. It is the most important hub in the sense of industry, trade and infrastructure.

In this next image the importance of São Paulo as a hub to national airliner Varig is obvious.

[Hub: São Paulo as a hub to Varig airliner]

The next image surprisingly shows Rio de Janeiro as a hub for a national research network of fibre optical cables.

[Hub: Rio as a hub to the national science network]

As concluded before, networks have the tendency to organize themselves. To study the dynamics of a mouse’s brain, the galaxy, the Internet, or the global economic network all comes down to the same thing: network dynamics. It would be interesting to understand these dynamics in order to be able to influence their efficiency and effectiveness. We could apply these lessons to the physical world of urban planning and the social networks of society. Getting in phase with these natural dynamics would be the definition of sustainable design.

What is very interesting is that Brazilian society appears to be extremely network oriented. In this sense, Brazil, like the Internet, is a laboratory to network dynamics. I’ll get back to this later.

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