Comparing and modeling land use organization in cities

Lenormand, M; Cantú-Ros, OG; Picornell, M;Louail, T; Herranz, R;Barthelemy, M;Frías-Martínez, E; San Miguel, M; Ramasco, JJ
Royal Society Open Science 2, 150449 (2015)

The advent of geolocated information and communication technologies opens the possibility of exploring how people use space in cities, bringing an important new tool for urban scientists and planners, especially for regions where data are scarce or not available. Here we apply a functional network approach to determine land use patterns from mobile phone records. The versatility of the method allows us to run a systematic comparison between Spanish cities of various sizes. The method detects four major land use types that correspond to different temporal patterns. The proportion of these types, their spatial organization and scaling show a strong similarity between all cities that breaks down at a very local scale, where land use mixing is specific to each urban area. Finally, we introduce a model inspired by Schelling’s segregation, able to explain and reproduce these results with simple interaction rules between different land uses.

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