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id DDSS2006-HB-187
authors Lidia Diappi and Paola Bolchi
year 2006
title Gentrification Waves in the Inner-City of Milan - A multi agent / cellular automata model based on Smith's Rent Gap theory
source Van Leeuwen, J.P. and H.J.P. Timmermans (eds.) 2006, Innovations in Design & Decision Support Systems in Architecture and Urban Planning, Dordrecht: Springer, ISBN-10: 1-4020-5059-3, ISBN-13: 978-1-4020-5059-6, p. 187-201
summary The aim of this paper is to investigate the gentrification process by applying an urban spatial model of gentrification, based on Smith's (1979; 1987; 1996) Rent Gap theory. The rich sociological literature on the topic mainly assumes gentrification to be a cultural phenomenon, namely the result of a demand pressure of the suburban middle and upper class, willing to return to the city (Ley, 1980; Lipton, 1977, May, 1996). Little attempt has been made to investigate and build a sound economic explanation on the causes of the process. The Rent Gap theory (RGT) of Neil Smith still represents an important contribution in this direction. At the heart of Smith's argument there is the assumption that gentrification takes place because capitals return to the inner city, creating opportunities for residential relocation and profit. This paper illustrates a dynamic model of Smith's theory through a multi-agent/ cellular automata system approach (Batty, 2005) developed on a Netlogo platform. A set of behavioural rules for each agent involved (homeowner, landlord, tenant and developer, and the passive 'dwelling' agent with their rent and level of decay) are formalised. The simulations show the surge of neighbouring degradation or renovation and population turn over, starting with different initial states of decay and estate rent values. Consistent with a Self Organized Criticality approach, the model shows that non linear interactions at local level may produce different configurations of the system at macro level. This paper represents a further development of a previous version of the model (Diappi, Bolchi, 2005). The model proposed here includes some more realistic factors inspired by the features of housing market dynamics in the city of Milan. It includes the shape of the potential rent according to city form and functions, the subdivision in areal submarkets according to the current rents, and their maintenance levels. The model has a more realistic visualisation of the city and its form, and is able to show the different dynamics of the emergent neighbourhoods in the last ten years in Milan.
keywords Multi agent systems, Housing market, Gentrification, Emergent systems
series DDSS
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