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An Optimized Cellular Automata Approach for Sustainable Urban Development in Rapidly Urbanizing Regions

WARD, Douglas P. (s195448@student.uq.edu.au), MURRAY, Alan T. and PHINN, Stuart R., University of Queensland, Department of Geographical Sciences and Planning, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia

Key Words: cellular automata, spatial optimization, urban growth, sustainable development

Rapidly urbanized regions face particular issues associated with sustainable development in which the spatial nature of urban form has economic, environmental, and social implications. Models of landscape transformations that characterize urban growth in terms of socio-economic and bio-physical factors can provide valuable tools for planners to explore urban scenarios that result from different land-use policies. Urban development can be conceived as a self-organizing system in which natural constraints and institutional controls associated with land-use policies temper the way in which local decision making processes produce macroscopic patterns of urban form. In this paper, a cellular automata (CA) model that simulates local decision making processes is integrated with an optimization framework that addresses issues of sustainable urban development. In the model, CA transition rules are modified in accordance with the outcomes of the optimization of economic, social, and environmental target thresholds associated with sustainable urban development. The model provides a means for simulating different land-use scenarios to reveal the implications of different land-use policies. Application results evaluating possible growth scenarios for a rapidly urbanized region in eastern Australia are given.