A brief exploration of the potential of the gentaxelling model to investigate the effects of refugee influx in an urban system.

Towards an Agent-Based Simulation of Housing in Urban Beirut

Abstract

Advances in agent-based modelling have led to theoretically-grounded spatial agent models of urban dynamics, capturing the dynamics of population, property prices, and regeneration. We leverage our extant agent-based model founded on the rent-gap theory, as a lens to study the effect of sizeable refugee migration in an abstracted model of a densely-populated Mediterranean city. Our exploratory work provides the foundation for calibration with real data, and offers a step towards a tool for policy makers asking what-if questions about the urban environment in the context of migration.

Presented at the 1st Workshop on Agent Based Modelling of Urban Systems (ABMUS 2016) | PDF

Two papers are out in workshop/conference proceedings.

The first presents a computational model of housing investment inspired by the great geographer Neil Smith ‘s rent-gap theory. It is one of the very few (possibly the only) models around that try to implement the principles of this theory with an entire urban area as unit of analysis. The second paper attempts a validation of the model and suggests a way to employ it to investigate the possible outcomes of urban regeneration. A specific project in Salford, England is used as a case study.

I will try and publish the code for these models, I need to render it presentable before. Here are the papers

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The two maps below show Zoopla’s “Z-Index”1 for the Manchester urban area and central London. The image maps display the house price index as the pointer rolls over each postcode area.

London Manchester

A number of observations can be made: the evident east/west “divide” in London that is absent, or less pronounced, in Manchester; the obvious great affordability of Manchester compared to London.

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