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Using fractal dimensions for characterizing intra-urban diversity. The example of Brussels

  • Isabelle Thomas

    ()

  • Marie-Laurence De Keersmaecker

    ()

  • Pierre Frankhauser

    ()

The objective of this paper is to compare fractal-based parameters calculated by different fractal methods for urban built-up areas, and to link the observed spatial variations to variables commonly used in urban geography, urban economics or land use planning. Computations are performed on Brussels. Two fractal methods (correlation and dilation) are systematically applied for evaluating the fractal dimension of built-up surfaces; correlation is used to evaluate the fractal dimension of the borders (lines). Analyses show that while fractal dimension is ideal for distinguishing the morphology of Brussels, each estimation technique leads to slightly different results. Interesting associations are to be found between the fractal dimensions and rent, distance, income and planning rules. Despite its limitations, fractal analysis seems to be a promising tool for describing the morphology of the city and for simulating its genesis and planning. The model is robust: it replicates the urban spatial regularities and patterns, and could hence fruitfully be integrated into intra urban simulation processes.

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File URL: http://www-sre.wu-wien.ac.at/ersa/ersaconfs/ersa03/cdrom/papers/116.pdf
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Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa03p116.

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Date of creation: Aug 2003
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Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa03p116
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  1. Richard Arnott & Alex Anas & Kenneth Small, 1997. "Urban Spatial Structure," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 388., Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. DUJARDIN, Claire & THOMAS, Isabelle & TULKENS, Henry, . "Quelles frontières pour Bruxelles? Une mise à jour," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1972, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Gomes, M.A.F, 2001. "Geometrical aspects in the distribution of languages and urban settlements," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 295(1), pages 9-16.
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