An Urban Morphogenesis Model Capturing Interactions Between Networks and Territories

  • Juste RaimbaultEmail author
Part of the Modeling and Simulation in Science, Engineering and Technology book series (MSSET)


Urban systems are composed of complex couplings of several components, and more particularly between the built environment and transportation networks. Their interaction is involved in the emergence of the urban form. We propose in this chapter to introduce an approach to urban morphology grasping both aspects and their interaction. We first define complementary measures and study their empirical values and their spatial correlations on European territorial systems. The behavior of indicators and correlations suggest underlying non-stationary and multi-scalar processes. We then introduce a generative model of urban growth at a mesoscopic scale. Given a fixed exogenous growth rate, population is distributed following a preferential attachment depending on a potential controlled by the local urban form (density, distance to network) and network measures (centralities and generalized accessibilities), and then diffused in space to capture urban sprawl. Network growth is included through a multi-modeling paradigm: implemented heuristics include biological network generation and gravity potential breakdown. The model is calibrated both at the first (measures) and second (correlations) order, the later capturing indirectly relations between networks and territories.


Urban morphology Road network topology Spatial correlations Urban morphogenesis Reaction–diffusion Coevolution 



Results obtained in this paper were computed on the virtual organization of the European Grid Infrastructure ( We thank the European Grid Infrastructure and its supporting National Grid Initiatives (France-Grilles in particular) for providing the technical support and infrastructure.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UPS CNRS 3611 ISC-PIFParisFrance
  2. 2.UMR CNRS 8504 Géographie-citésParisFrance

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