Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 291–315 | Cite as

High Resolution Urban Land-use Change Modeling: Agent iCity Approach



The process of urban land use change is influenced by the interactions of various stakeholders who have conflicting values and priorities. These interactions, which are characterized by a strong competition for advantageous land locations, can be represented by an agent-based model in order to better understand, analyze and forecast possible future urban land use patterns. The objective of this study is to develop and implement Agent iCity, an agent-based model that simulates the process of urban land-use change by using irregular spatial units at a cadastral scale and by incorporating the interactions of the key stakeholders. The simulation outcomes are generated for two scenarios of the process of urban land use change as it occurs under the conditions of different urban growth policies. The model is implemented on municipal cadastral and land use data for part of the City of Chilliwack, Canada, a city that has experienced rapid growth in the last decade. The results indicate that that relative household incomes and property values drive the changes in urban land use patterns as households search for affordable homes in suitable neighbourhoods. The developed Agent iCity model can assist urban planners in better understanding and analysis of the changes in urban land use patterns.


Agent-based modelling Complex systems modelling Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Land-use change Urban growth simulations 



This study was funded by the Geomatics for Informed Decisions (GEOIDE) network and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, while the City of Chilliwack, Canada kindly provided the spatial datasets. The authors are thankful for the thorough comments of two anonymous reviewers on the earlier draft of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Spatial Analysis and Modeling Research Laboratory, Department of GeographySimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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