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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Entropy Considerations in Environmental Planning


Entropy is a fundamental concept in the physcial sciences, enshrined in the second law of thermodynamics. It is also a fundamental concept in information theory. In other areas it has gained considerable currency, sometimes faddish, sometimes as a powerful operating concept, sometimes an enlightening metaphor. Vincent Siciliano reviews and comments upon a broad variety of usages and conceptions of entropy in the natural sciences, in the social sciences, in art, in philosophy, and even in poetry. In addition to this panoramic survey, he presents some fresh ideas on systems of cities and social organizations.

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