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Modeling Cities and Regions As Complex SystemsFrom Theory to Planning Applications$
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Roger White, Guy Engelen, and Inge Uljee

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029568

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029568.001.0001

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Emerging Theory

Emerging Theory

(p.235) 10 Emerging Theory
Modeling Cities and Regions As Complex Systems

Roger White

Guy Engelen

Inge Uljee

The MIT Press

Following Richard Levins, a theory of cities and regions as complex systems consists of a set of overlapping models together with their robust consequences—i.e. the quasi-regularities that emerge. Five such regularities emerge from the family of models discussed in this book: The clustering-dispersal bifurcation dependent on the distance decay parameter The bi-fractal radial dimension The linearity of the cluster size – frequency relationship The decomposition into two distinct scales of the distance decay effect The possible universality of the CA influence functions. The models generate these regularities but do not explain them because they emerge from the behaviour of the individual agents who populate the city, and the models are not explicit at that level. However, the most important aspect of the emerging theory is not the set of regularities but the representation of the process of self-organization itself, both as a source of bifurcating possibilities and as a generator of detailed representations of actual cities and regions.

Keywords:   Richard Levins, Quasi regularities, Overlapping models

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