Two papers on modelling urban dynamics with the rent-gap theory

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

Agent Based Exploration of Urban Economic Dynamics Under the Rent-Gap Hypotheses

Abstract We present a stylised agent-based model of housing investment based on the rent gap theory proposed by the late Neil Smith. We couple Smith’s supply-side approach to investment, with individual-level residential mobility within a city. The model explores the impact of varying levels of capital flowing in the city and reproduces certain theorised and observed dynamics emerging from the cyclic nature of investment: the tendency of capital to spatially concentrate generating intra-urban inequalities, the occasional formation of persistent pockets of disinvestment and phenomena such as gentrification.

doi:10.1007/978-3-319-14627-0_15 | PDF

A theory driven, spatially explicit agent-based simulation to model the economic and social implications of urban regeneration

Abstract We model the economic mechanics of housing regeneration employing the rent-gap theory proposed by Neil Smith in 1979. We discuss the conditions for successful regeneration in theory, using an abstract representation of a city, then try and evaluate the possible outcomes of an actual regeneration programme in Salford, England in terms of property prices and area social composition

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