Building a city in vitro

The experiment and the simulation model

Erez Hatna, Itzhak Benenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

All current urban models accept the 'first-order recursion' view, namely, that the state of an urban system at time t is sufficient for predicting its state at t + 1. This assumption is not at all evident in the case of urban development, where the behavior of developers and planners is defined by the complex interaction between long-term and short-term plan guidelines, local spatial and temporal conditions, and individual entrepreneurial activity and cognition. In this paper we validate the first-order recursion approach in an artificial game environment: thirty geography students were asked to construct a 'city' on the floor of a large room, with each student using the same set of fifty-two building mock-ups. Based on the analysis of game outcomes, the first-order recursive set of behavioral rules shared by all the participants is estimated and further employed for computer generation of artificial cities. Comparison between the human-built and model patterns reveals that the constructed set of rules is sufficient for representing the dynamics of the majority of experimental patterns; however, the behavior of some participants differs and we analyze these differences. We consider this experiment as a preliminary yet important step towards the adequate modeling of decision-making behavior among real developers and planners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)687-707
Number of pages21
JournalEnvironment and Planning B: Planning and Design
Volume34
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2007

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simulation model
decision making behavior
Students
Mockups
experiment
student
urban development
simulation
cognition
urban system
Decision making
Experiments
geography
interaction
decision making
modeling
city
time
plan
comparison

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Building a city in vitro : The experiment and the simulation model. / Hatna, Erez; Benenson, Itzhak.

In: Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Vol. 34, No. 4, 2007, p. 687-707.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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