If we raise the price of bus tickets, what will happen to high school graduation rates? How will changing carbon emissions levels affect obesity rates? IBM thinks it can quantify the impact of seemingly unrelated urban variables using algorithms and enough historical data. Is this the future of city planning or just another physicist’s answer to reducing the world to sets of equations?

Check it out: IBM Partners With Portland To Play SimCity For Real | Fast Company.

Further exploring: Radiolab’s episode on the universal city equation and NYT Mag’s piece, A Physicist Turns the City Into an Equation (image credit Hubert Blanz)