Complex Questions for the Study of Urban Agglomerations – Khalil Martin

July 26, 2019 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Sandford Fleming Building, ITS Lab and Testbed, Room SF3103
10 King's College Road
3rd Floor
Pat Doherty
(416) 978-4175

Join us for Khalil Martin’s MASc thesis presentation, “Complex Questions for the Study of Urban Agglomerations.” All are welcome.


Why do cities exist? Which is more conducive to urban growth: economic specialization or diversity? Competition or cooperation? How do urban economies evolve? Inspired by Complexity Theory, this thesis reexamines the ontologies usually used to discuss Urban Agglomeration and attempts to create framework for thinking about urban socioeconomic systems – to help answer these questions and more.

It reintroduces the familiar concept of adaptive capability and proposes an emphasis on this concept over the concept of dynamic externalities found in the literature. While the latter considers the firm to be the primary unit of analysis in the study of urban agglomerations, the former places the city itself as primary – with its interrelated institutions, cultures, and material conditions – facilitating the spontaneous association and re-association of dynamic, heterogeneous agents.

Khalil Martin poses outside

Khalil Martin

Khalil Martin is a student, under the supervision of Professor Eric J. Miller, of urban environments, entering the Transportation Engineering + Planning MASc program with experience in Business Planning for the creation of the Union Pearson Express, Construction Management for TTC Second Exit and Easier Access projects, and Transportation Demand Modelling for the consultancy IBI Group. The breadth of his reading surpasses the breadth of his work experiences. In his learning, he seeks to find intuitive handles for understanding and managing complex systems.