Frank Schweitzer, Jens Steinbrink:

Estimation of Megacity Growth: Simple Rules Versus Complex Phenomena
Applied Geography 18/1 (1998) 69-82

The growth of large urban aggregates (megacities) is analogous to the development of self-organized structures known in physics. Using empirical data about changes in the built-up areas of different cities as input, the self-organizing model employed here suggests that megacities evolve towards a hierarchical form of spatial organization, and provides estimates of the size of subclusters that compose the urban aggregate. The rank-size cluster distribution that emerges can be described by a Pareto coefficient which has a similar value for different megacities. The coefficient may provide a useful complement to structural measures of urbanization such as the fractal dimension. Our model has been validated by reproducing the evolution of the Berlin area over a period of 35 years (1910-1945). Using the same assumptions, the evolution of the built-up area of Daegu (Korea) is simulated up to the year 2010.

clusters, rank-size distribution, urban growth, urban morphology


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