The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Urban expansion simulation of Southeast England using population surface modelling and cellular automata

Wu, F. and Martin, D. (2002) Urban expansion simulation of Southeast England using population surface modelling and cellular automata Environment and Planning A, 34, (10), pp. 1855-1876. (doi:10.1068/a3520).

Record type: Article


The question of where to accommodate future urban expansion has become a politically sensitive issue in many regions. Against the backdrop of 'urban compaction' policy, this study uses population surface modelling and cellular automata (CA) to conduct an empirical urban growth simulation for Southeast England. This implementation leads to a consideration of the proper balance between the theoretical abstraction of self-organised growth and empirical constraints to land development. Specifically, we use 1991 and 1997 postcode directories to construct population surfaces. From these, the distributions of developed and vacant (rural) land are derived. Development potential is assessed through accessibility surfaces, which are constructed from the travel/commuting time to major London rail termini, to motorway junctions, and to principal settlements. Through investigating the frequencies of land development in relation to the accessibility surfaces, we can begin to understand the distribution of land development in this region. Based on this empirical relationship, the transition rules of a CA simulation of future urban expansion are constructed. In addition, government population projections at the county level are used to constrain simulation to the year 2020. The study demonstrates the utility of empirical CA in urban growth modelling; in particular the importance of empirically informed CA simulation rules in characterising the distribution of land development.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 2002
Keywords: development, urban expansion, cellular automata


Local EPrints ID: 14906
ISSN: 0308-518X
PURE UUID: b7818118-4404-443d-9dfa-5dd99c3fe42b
ORCID for D. Martin: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Mar 2005
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 16:52

Export record


Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.