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Slime mold cities

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  • David Barker

Abstract

Inspired by the behavior of slime mold cells, Paul Krugman developed a simple one-dimensional model in which moving firms self-organize into cities. In this paper I show that extending the model into two dimensions significantly improves its realism. Cities in the two-dimensional model are similar in several respects to real cities; they grow and decline, they cluster near rivers and coasts, and, given certain parameters, their distribution follows Zipf's law. A calibration exercise, however, suggests that observed levels of agglomeration must be due to factors beyond those included in the model. Keywords: urban, slime mold, self-organization, Zipf, Krugman

Suggested Citation

  • David Barker, 2012. "Slime mold cities," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 39(2), pages 262-286, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envirb:v:39:y:2012:i:2:p:262-286
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    Cited by:

    1. Ikeda, Kiyohiro & Murota, Kazuo & Akamatsu, Takashi & Kono, Tatsuhito & Takayama, Yuki, 2014. "Self-organization of hexagonal agglomeration patterns in new economic geography models," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 32-52.

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