The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


CASA Working Paper 164

Image from Working Paper 164

1 March 2011

Visually-Driven Urban Simulation: Exploring Fast and Slow Change in Residential Location

We are developing a large scale residential location model of the Greater London region in which all stages of the model-building process from data input, analysis through calibration to prediction are rapid to execute while presenting both the structure of the model and the region to which it has been applied in the most visually accessible and immediate fashion.

The model is structured to distribute trips across competing modes of transport from employment to population locations. It is cast in an entropy-maximising framework which has been extended to measure actual components of energy - travel costs, free energy and unusable energy (entropy itself) and these provide indicators for examining future scenarios based on changing the costs of travel in the metro region. Although the model is comparative static thus simulating an equilibrium at a cross-section in time, we interpret the changes that come from using the model predictively in terms of fast and slow processes - fast relating to changes in transport mode and slow relating to changes in location. After developing the model and showing how this level of spatial complexity can be handled using appropriate visual analytics, we test a scenario in which road travel costs double, showing that mode switching is considerably more significant than shifts in location which are minimal. We then discuss how these changes can be interpreted through changes in our energy and related cost indicators. This working paper is available as a PDF. The file size is 815KB.

Authors: Michael Batty

Publication Date: 1/3/2011

Download working paper No. 164.