Cities and Complexity: Understanding Cities with Cellular Automata, Agent-Based Models, and Fractals / Edition 1

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Overview

As urban planning moves from a centralized, top-down approach to a decentralized,
bottom-up perspective, our conception of urban systems is changing. In Cities and
Complexity,
Michael Batty offers a comprehensive view of urban dynamics in the context of complexity theory, presenting models that demonstrate how complexity theory can embrace a myriad of processes and elements that combine into organic wholes. He argues that bottom-up processes -- in which the outcomes are always uncertain -- can combine with new forms of geometry associated with fractal patterns and chaotic dynamics to provide theories that are applicable to highly complex systems such as cities.

Batty begins with models based on cellular automata (CA),
simulating urban dynamics through the local actions of automata. He then introduces agent-based models (ABM), in which agents are mobile and move between locations. These models relate to many scales, from the scale of the street to patterns and structure at the scale of the urban region.
Finally, Batty develops applications of all these models to specific urban situations, discussing concepts of criticality, threshold, surprise, novelty, and phase transition in the context of spatial developments. Every theory and model presented in the book is developed through examples that range from the simplified and hypothetical to the actual. Deploying extensive visual,
mathematical, and textual material, Cities and Complexity will be read both by urban researchers and by complexity theorists with an interest in new kinds of computational models.

Sample chapters and examples from the book, and other related material,
can be found at http://www.complexcity.info

The MIT Press

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

"Batty is a master at presenting challenging material in 'gentle though rigorous'
ways, judiciously combining text, graphics, and notation, and moving from easy-to-grasp toy problems to real examples." Helen Couclelis , Professor, Department of Geography,
University of California, Santa Barbara

The MIT Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262025836
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 589
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Batty is Bartlett Professor of Planning at University College London, where he is
Chairman of the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), and Visiting Distinguished Professor at
Arizona State University. He is the coauthor of Fractal Cities: A Geometry of Form and
Function
and the author of Cities and Complexity: Understanding Cities with
Cellular Automata, Agent-Based Models, and Fractals
(MIT Press).
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Table of Contents

Introduction : understanding cities 1
1 Urban change : complexity and emergence 17
2 Cells and cities : the rudiments of computation 67
3 Laboratories for growing cities 105
4 Desktop simulators : hypothetical urban evolution 151
5 Agents and cells, actions and interactions 209
6 Local movement : agent-based models of street systems and buildings 263
7 The dynamics of small-scale spatial events 319
8 Polynucleated urban landscape 353
9 Modeling urban growth as a spatial epidemic 385
10 Self-organized criticality and urban development 425
11 The fractal city 457
Conclusion : understanding models 515
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