Michael Batty

Awarded Year: 
2012
Award Type: 
Research Award
Award Information: 

The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) is pleased to announce that J. Michael (Mike) Batty, Bartlett Professor of Planning at University College London, Director of UCL’s Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), and Visiting Distinguished Professor at Arizona State University, is the recipient of the 2012 UCGIS Research Award.

   The UCGIS Research Award is given annually to the originator(s) of a particularly outstanding research contribution to geographic information science (GIScience). The main criterion for choosing the awardee is the impact of the research on the theory and practice of GIScience, or on research using GIS, or on geographic information technology. Each year nominations are taken from any of the UCGIS institutional members. A committee of well-recognized UCGIS scholars, representing many GIScience disciplines and including past awardees, evaluates the nominations.

   Mike’s research focuses on cities and regions, the analysis and modeling of their form and the processes responsible for their growth and development. He is especially well known for his examination of cities as complex spatial systems, through the lenses of mathematical modeling, fractals, and complexity theory. This work is represented by his much-cited 1994 book Fractal Cities: A Geometry of Form and Function with Paul Longley, and more recently his 2005 book Cities and Complexity. Together with his group at UCL, he has built agent-based models of individual behavior, developed a series of exciting applications of crowd-sourcing, built three-dimensional representations of London, and established CASA as a world leader in the development of GIScience through its application to the urban environment.

   Through his research, publications, and presentations Mike Batty has done much to build links between GIScience and other disciplines. He moves easily between geography, planning, architecture, urban studies, and GIScience. As the long-serving editor of Environment and Planning B, and through the editorials he has published in that journal, he has promoted and stimulated research on a vast range of themes. Moreover, the frequent keynotes that he has given all over the world have provided enormously valuable exposure for his ideas, his research, and the research of the GIScience community.

   Mike was Professor of Geography and Associate Director of the Buffalo site of the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis in the early 1990s, and as such a leading advocate of the founding of UCGIS. His awards include fellowship in the Royal Society (2009), one of four GIScientists to have achieved that outstanding honor; fellowship in the British Academy (2001); the Sir George Back Award of the Royal Geographical Society for ‘contributions to national policy and practice in planning and city design’; and the Association of Geographic Information Award for Technological Progress (1998) and for Innovation (2002).