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Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society
Volume 2, Issue 2, Pages 111-125

Cities and cellular automata

Department of Geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland A1B 3X9, Canada

Received 7 December 1997

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cellular automata provide a high-resolution representation of urban spatial dynamics.Consequently they give the most realistic predictions of urban structural evolution, and in particular they are able to replicate the various fractal dimensionalities of actual cities. However, since these models do not readily incorporate certain phenomena like density measures and long-distance (as opposed to neighbourhood) spatial interactions, their performance may be enhanced by integrating them with other types of urban models.Cellular automata based models promise deeper theoretical insights into the nature of cities as self-organizing structures.