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Spatial accessibility to amenities in fractal and nonfractal urban patterns


  • Cécile Tannier
  • Gilles Vuidel
  • Hélène Houot
  • Pierre Frankhauser


One of the challenges of urban planning and design is to formulate an optimal urban form that meets all the environmental, social, and economic expectations of sustainable urban development. In this perspective, some scholars have taken an interest in fractal urban forms. Our objective is to evaluate the benefit of a fractal urban form in terms of spatial accessibility to local urban (shops and services) and rural (open spaces) amenities. To do this, we propose a multiscale fractal simulation system named MUP-City for simulating various residential development scenarios based on an existing urban pattern. Using MUP-City over a single study area, we generate fifty fractal and nonfractal urbanization scenarios and then compare them in terms of spatial accessibility to local amenities. Compared with nonfractal urbanization scenarios, fractal scenarios involve travelling shorter distances to reach various types of open space, but greater distances to visit various types of shops and services. Access to shops and services in fractal scenarios can be improved by altering the location of shops and services, whereas access to open spaces in nonfractal scenarios cannot be improved without changing the built form of reference. Keywords: urban form, fractal simulation, scenarios, accessibility, amenities

Suggested Citation

  • Cécile Tannier & Gilles Vuidel & Hélène Houot & Pierre Frankhauser, 2012. "Spatial accessibility to amenities in fractal and nonfractal urban patterns," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 39(5), pages 801-819, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envirb:v:39:y:2012:i:5:p:801-819

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