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Title: An optimized cellular automata approach for sustainable urban development in rapidly urbanizing regions

Date: 25 July 1999

Authors: Douglas P. Ward, Alan T. Murray, and Stuart R. Phinn



Rapidly urbanizing regions face particular issues associated with sustainable development in which the spatial nature of urban form has economic, environmental, and social implications. Models of landscape transformations that characterize urban growth in terms of socio-economic and biophysical factors can provide valuable tools for planners to explore urban scenarios that result from different land use policies. Urban development can be conceived as a self-organizing system in which natural constraints and institutional controls (land use policies) temper the way in which local decision making processes produce macroscopic patterns of urban form. In this paper, a cellular automata (CA) model that simulates local decision making processes was integrated with an optimization framework that addressed issues of sustainable urban development. In the model, CA transition rules are modified in accordance with the outcomes of the optimization of economic, social and environmental target thresholds associated with sustainable urban development. The model provides a means to simulate the different land use scenarios that may result from different land use policies, and was applied to develop possible growth scenarios for a rapidly urbanizing region is Eastern Australia.


IV International Conference on GeoComputation, Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, VA, USA, 25-28 July 1999.
Topic revision: r4 - 13 Aug 2010, TheresiaFreska
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