Feeds

Israelis offer radical new rat-based urban renewal scheme

Rodents prefer Manhattan to New Orleans, apparently

Top three mobile application threats

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.