Dynamics of virtual urban networks: transactions, connections, urban memory, resilience potential, robustness and edge of collapse
A virtual urban network is a network of communications and transactions that is overlaid on the physical urban assemblage. Producers and consumers in a physical urban environment make connections on the basis of product supply and demand, and as result these connections lead to economic transactions. The article investigates how the connections between producers and consumers, collectively referred to as agents, are created and maintained, and how some connections become better established by repetition, and some vanish shortly after they are created. A notion of urban learning and urban memory as a consequence of spontaneous recursive connections between urban agents will be introduced, analogous to the grey matter learning in biological systems. The article evaluates resilience, robustness and edge of collapse in these virtual urban networks, increasing the understanding of the parameters that can influence their performance. The meaning of these parameters is ultimately interpreted in the context of individuals, communities, public spaces, local services and society at a whole.