Modeling urban dynamics: the case of periurban development in east Thessaloniki
Keywords:complexity, land use models, Thessaloniki, urban dynamics
Understanding cities and their development is a complex and multifaceted issue. Cities are places where individuals, households, companiesetc. concentrate to benefit from the agglomeration and proximity of urban activities. There are many ways to approach the critical questionof how urban activities are spatially organized and interrelated to produce space and create cities. Recently a great number of complexsystems were developed as part of the complexity theory approach in order to study urban dynamics, while mathematical models are seenas a new opportunity to explore the spatial relations via new evolutionary approaches.
Taking into consideration that the world is complex and no model can incorporate all the possible factors that cause urban growth wefocus on the dynamics of land use and transportaiton infrastructure using a simple urban model for the periurban area of east Thessaloniki.Given the fact that there are no records of such models being used in studies of Greek cities over the last 25 years, makes this an importantcontribution to the use of models in a greek setting. Therefore, an applicability assessment of the model for the three different modellingsteps (data acquisition, calibration and forecasting) is conducted. The application of the model indicates that despite issues about theavailability of data, the calibration and forecasting results are promising for the use of urban models in greek cities. Furthermore it highlightsthe significance of using quantitative methods for understanding cities as systems, which in turn will enable us to make better planningdecisions about our cities in the future.
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