Journal of Geographical Systems

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 251–274 | Cite as

Toward micro-scale spatial modeling of gentrification

  • David O'Sullivan


 A simple preliminary model of gentrification is presented. The model is based on an irregular cellular automaton architecture drawing on the concept of proximal space, which is well suited to the spatial externalities present in housing markets at the local scale. The rent gap hypothesis on which the model's cell transition rules are based is discussed. The model's transition rules are described in detail. Practical difficulties in configuring and initializing the model are described and its typical behavior reported. Prospects for further development of the model are discussed. The current model structure, while inadequate, is well suited to further elaboration and the incorporation of other interesting and relevant effects.

Key words: gentrification, spatial models, micro-simulation, cellular automata, urban simulation 
JEL classification: C51, C63, 021, R00 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • David O'Sullivan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geography, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA (e-mail:

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