What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

How High-Speed Rail Could Benefit Smaller Cities

March 22, 2013, 3:13 PM

What's the Latest Development?

A report published online at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Web site describes studies done on high-speed rail in China, and states that high-speed rail benefits smaller cities and the larger cities they're connected to in several important ways. The larger cities -- in this case Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou -- experience less pressure on their infrastructure, while the smaller cities experience housing appreciation and demographic growth. Additionally, market integration between cities seems to work best "for places roughly 60 to 470 miles apart — too far to drive but often not far enough to justify the cost of flying."

What's the Big Idea?

The report authors, Siqi Zheng of Tsinghua University and Matthew Kahn of UCLA, take pains to note that certain factors, some unique to China, led them to their conclusions. However, as California's battle towards building a high-speed rail line continues, Kahn said in a UCLA press release that much of the research represents "great news for landowners in the Bakersfields of the world, because we can identify areas that are effectively going to have the option of becoming a new suburb to the superstar cities." Bakersfield is about 100 miles north of Los Angeles.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at The Atlantic Cities


How High-Speed Rail Could B...

Newsletter: Share: