The output from this spatially explicit agent-based model will be used to assess how properties of social networks affect urbanization through adaptive socioeconomic systems.
2012 Urban Fellow
Research Topic: Urbanization and Land Use Change
Faculty Advisor: Karen Seto
A Model of Nonlinear Urbanization and Information Flows Across India
Urbanization in the 21st century is increasingly shaped by distal flows of
people, capital, and information across the landscape. In India, these flows are predicated
on expectations informed by the propagation of information across social networks.
Networks across rural-urban boundaries and between urban centers are a principle
mechanism underlying migration and investment patterns. These patterns shape and are
shaped by the growth of city-regions. Our driving research question is: How does the
strength of signal propagation across social networks underlying spatial flows affect
emergent patterns of urban land-use change? To examine this relationship, we developed
an agent-based model of regional-scale urbanization for the extent of India on a spatially
explicit grid derived from satellite data wherein we represent the dynamics of decisions
made by: land developers, families, state governments, corporations, and property
management companies. Decisions made by family agents are based on information
propagated across an adaptive social network. We varied the probability of data
transmission across the network to simulate the effects of strong and weak social
networks on spatial patterns of urbanization.