September 2000, Amsterdam - Projects - Ireland

Thomas Gernon (17)
School: Colaiste Ris
Hobbies: fossil collecting, fishing, cycling, playing golf
Career intention: geologist

Geography and mathematics of Europe's urban centres
How can we quantify the future of Europe's urbanisation? What specific measures of past activity are reliable as indicators of the future? My study addresses these questions by putting a finger on certain elements of urbanisation, particularly economic elements, and uses these to attempt to make a prediction of the future of our cities. All urbanisation processes are in a constant state of change. European urbanisation is undergoing fundamental changes, the main sign of which is a move away from megalopolises based on economies of scale and industrial output. This might be referred to as the Old Model. Europe is now increasingly witnessing urban development in the form of narrow corridors and isolated points of growth that are related more to environmental considerations, arising largely because of the increasing availability of excellent transportation facilities. This might be referred to as the New Model.
My principal aim was to create mathematical models of urbanisation in Europe; one dealing with the past situation (the Old Model) and the other dealing with current trends (the New Model). Using the models it is possible to predict the future patterns of European urbanisation.