From Schelling to Spatially Explicit Modeling of Urban Ethnic and Economic Residential Dynamics

Itzhak Benenson, Erez Hatna, and Ehud Or From Schelling to Spatially Explicit Modeling of Urban Ethnic and Economic Residential Dynamics  Sociological Methods & Research 2009 37: 463-497.

The robustness of outcomes to the parameterization of behavioral rules is a crucial property of any model aimed at simulating complex human systems. Schelling model of residential segregationsatisfies this criterion. Based on the recently available high-resolution census GIS, we apply Schelling model for investigating urban population patterns at the resolution of individual buildingsand families. First, we simulate ethnic residential dynamics in Yaffo (an area of Tel Aviv), and demonstrate good quantitative correspondence for a 40-year period. Second, we investigateincome-based residential patterns in nine Israeli cities, reveal their high heterogeneity, and explain the latter by the presence of low fraction of wealthier householders who are tolerant of their poorer neighbors and reside in their proximity. We extend Schelling model in this direction and demonstrate qualitative correspondence between the model’s outcomes and the observed income-based residential patterns.

Key Words: Social simulation • Schelling model • High-resolution GIS • Urban residential dynamics

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