Comparing and modeling land use organization in cities

Maxime Lenormand1, Oliva García Cantú2, Miguel Picornell2, Thomas Louail3,4, Ricardo Herranz2, Marc Barthélemy3,5, Enrique Frías-Martínez6, Maxi San Miguel1 and José J. Ramasco1

1Instituto de Física Interdisciplinar y Sistemas Complejos IFISC (CSIC-UIB), Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
2Nommon Solutions and Technologies, calle Cañas 8, 28043 Madrid, Spain.
3Institut de Physique Théorique, CEA-CNRS (URA 2306), F-91191, Gif-sur-Yvette, France.
4Gégraphie-Cités, CNRS-Paris 1-Paris 7 (UMR 8504), 13 rue du four, FR-75006 Paris, France.
5Centre d'Analyse et de Mathématique Sociales, EHESS-CNRS (UMR 8557), 190-198 avenue de France, FR-75013 Paris, France.
6 Telefónica Research, 28050 Madrid, Spain.

(March 2015)

The advent of geolocated ICT 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 is 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.