CogCity (Cognitive City): A Top-down→Bottom-up USM

  • Juval PortugaliEmail author
Part of the Understanding Complex Systems book series (UCS)


In Part II above we have introduced several cognitive capabilities of humans and have discussed their implications to various aspects of cities as complex self-organizing systems. The present chapter extends this discussion and examines the implications to USM. This is done by developing CogCity (cognitive city) as an urban simulation model that explicitly incorporates in its structure the role of three cognitive processes that as illustrated in Part II above, typify the behavior of human agents: information compression, cognitive mapping and categorization. The discussion below starts by introducing the three cognitive capabilities and their general implications to USM (Sect. 18.2). Next a specific urban simulation model is introduced (Sect. 18.3) and some of results of its simulation runs are presented and discussed. The specific urban scenario the model simulates describes entrepreneurs as urban agents who come to the city in order to find a location and build on it a certain building they “have in mind”. By so doing they in fact construct the city as a 3D landscape. Finally, Sect. 18.4 summarizes the two main innovative features of CogCity: Firstly, that it is a cognitive USM that makes explicit use of some of the cognitive capabilities of humans. Secondly and as a consequence of taking cognition seriously, CogCity is a top-down bottom-up urban simulation model in the sense that agents take decisions in a top-down order and then act in a bottom-up sequence.


Residential Building Central Place Commercial Building Cognitive Capability Circular Causality 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of Geography and the Human EnvironmentTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

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