The Socio-Spatial Dynamics of Systems of Cities and Innovation Processes: a Multi-Level Model

  • Denise Pumain


Following a first attempt presented as the SIMPOP model (a multi-agents systems whose prototype is described in Bura et al. 1996), our aim is to develop a generic model for simulating the evolution of systems of towns and cities, using the SWARM simulation platform. The scientific issue is: to understand how cities that are interconnected through material and immaterial networks co-evolve, within an environment where social and economic innovation continuously emerge, while maintaining at a macro-geographical scale functional, hierarchic and spatial differentiation which evolve at a much slower pace.

The SIMPOP2 model is designed for testing hypothesis about the general processes of urbanisation and interactions between towns and cities. The objective is to identify and order the rules and parameters that have produced a variety of configuration at the level of the systems of cities, according mainly to the changing conditions of spatial interaction: communication means, transportation speed, range of trading activities, proximity networks and long distance connectivity. Three main varieties of urban systems that have had different histories of urbanisation and conditions of circulation will be investigated: developed countries with old settlement systems, developed countries of much more recent urbanisation, and developing countries. A first generic version of the model includes the minimal rules that seem necessary for reproducing the emergence and evolution of any system of cities, whereas three different scenarios will be constructed for simulating the characteristic features of the three main variations.


Innovation Process Urban Growth Spatial Interaction Urban System Catastrophe Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Physica-Verlag Heidelberg and Accademia di Architettura, Mendrisio, Switzerland 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Denise Pumain
    • 1
  1. 1.Unité Mixed de Recherche Géographie-citésUniversity of Paris IFrance

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