Cellular automata and fractal urban form: a cellular modelling approach to the evolution of urban land-use patterns
Cellular automata belong to a family of discrete, connectionist techniques being used to investigate fundamental principles of dynamics, evolution, and self-organization. In this paper, a cellular automaton is developed to model the spatial structure of urban land use over time. For realistic parameter values, the model produces fractal or bifractal land-use structures for the urbanized area and for each individual land-use type. Data for a set of US cities show that they have very similar fractal dimensions. The cellular approach makes it possible to achieve a high level of spatial detail and realism and to link the results directly to general theories of structural evolution.