Feeds

Israelis offer radical new rat-based urban renewal scheme

Rodents prefer Manhattan to New Orleans, apparently

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Israeli professors have advocated a radical new method of city planning. They say that proposed layouts for new urban construction should be tested by checking what rats think of them, suggesting that recent trials in which furry rodents favoured New York's street plan over that of New Orleans indicate the murines' superior judgement.

The research has been carried out at Tel Aviv university, where geographers and zoologists were obviously keen to discover more efficient methods of laying out new city construction.

"Our research takes the art used by humans to create their towns and cities and turns it back to the animal world for testing," says Prof David Eilam of Tel Aviv Uni.

"We can look at how rats will react to a city's geography to come up with an optimal urban plan."

It seems that the Israeli profs designed two model city plans, of the sort which could be used when laying out a new area of city. One layout was of the sort found in Manhattan, with a regular grid system. The other was on the general lines of New Orleans, in a mad haphazard Frenchy hodge-podge style.

"Using the grid, the rats covered a vast amount of territory, 'seeing the sights' quickly," says Eilam.

"In contrast, rats in an irregular plan resembling New Orleans failed to move far from where they started and didn't cover much territory, despite travelling the same distances as the 'Manhattan rats'."

According to the Israeli urban-renewal profs, this means that Manhattan-style gridded streets are "much more rat- and people-friendly than cities with unstructured and winding streets".

"We've built an environment to test city plans, so that 'soul-less' and ineffective new neighborhoods won't be built," adds Prof Eilam. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.