This paper provides a short introductory overview of urban science. It defines urban science, details its practitioners and their aims, sets out its relationship to urban informatics and urban studies, and explains its epistemology and the analysis of urban big data. It then summarizes criticism of urban science with respect to epistemology, instrumental rationality, data issues, and ethics. It is concluded that urban science research will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, providing a valuable means of making sense of cities, but that it is unlikely it will become a new paradigm, producing an integrative approach that replaces the diverse philosophical traditions within urban studies.
Key words: urban science, urban informatics, urban analytics, urban studies, urban big data, epistemology, critique
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