IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/sae/urbstu/v38y2001i4p635-655.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Polynucleated Urban Landscapes

Author

Listed:
  • Michael Batty

    (Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London, 1-19 Torrington Place, London, WCIE 6BT, UK, m.batty@ucl.ac.uk)

Abstract

City systems show a degree of resilience and persistence that has rarely been emphasised in urban theory. There is a fascination for recent and contemporary change which suggests that phenomena such as the rise of the 'edge city', for example, comprise the predominant forces determining how a polynucleated landscape of cities is emerging. We argue here that such explanations of polynucleation are largely false. Urban settlement structures from much earlier times are persistent to a degree that is extraordinary. We show this in two ways: first, from empirical evidence of stable rank-size relations in the urban settlement system for Great Britain over the past 100 years; and, secondly, from simulations based on weak laws of proportionate effect which produce aggregate patterns entirely consistent with these empirical relations. We then propose various spatially disaggregate models of urban development which generate an evolution of polynucleated settlement from initial, random distributions of urban activity. These models simulate the repeated action of agents locating and trading in space which illustrate how early settlement patterns are gradually reinforced by positive feedback. These produce lognormally distributed settlement structures that are characteristic of city systems in developed countries. In this way, we begin to explain how aggregate urban structures persist in spite of rapid and volatile micro change at more local levels of locational decision-making. Polynucleated urban landscapes are clear evidence of this phenomenon.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Batty, 2001. "Polynucleated Urban Landscapes," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 38(4), pages 635-655, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:38:y:2001:i:4:p:635-655
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://usj.sagepub.com/content/38/4/635.abstract
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jotrge:v:16:y:2008:i:2:p:90-99 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Paola Bertolini & Enrico Giovanetti & Francesco Pagliacci, 2011. "Regional Patterns in the Achievement of the Lisbon Strategy: a Comparison Between Polycentric Regions and Monocentric Ones," Department of Economics 0664, University of Modena and Reggio E., Faculty of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    3. repec:eee:ecomod:v:201:y:2007:i:3:p:495-506 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:38:y:2001:i:4:p:635-655. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: http://www.gla.ac.uk/departments/urbanstudiesjournal .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.