InterJournal Complex Systems, 526
Status: Accepted
Manuscript Number: [526]
Submission Date: 20501
Revised On: 20531
City of Slums: self-organisation across scales
Author(s): Joana Barros ,FABIANO SOBREIRA

Subject(s): CX.4

Category: Article


Third World cities are known for their inherent chaotic and discontinuous spatial patterns and rapid and unorganised development process. Due to the very same characteristics, in the present paper, these cities are seen as excellent objects for the study of complex systems. We argue that the morphological structure of these cities can be analysed by the interplay of two different urban processes across scales: the local process of formation of inner-city squatter settlements and the global process of “peripherisation” (typical growth process of Third World cities). The basic aim of this paper is to analyse the interrelationship between these two processes. This issue is explored through ‘City-of-slums’, an agent-based model that focuses on the process of consolidation of inner-city squatter settlements within a peripherisation process. The paper presents briefly two previous studies on these topics where the dynamics of these two urban processes are examined as two isolated complex systems through heuristic agent-based models and their morphologies are discussed. We then combine aspects of these two dynamics to compose City-of-slums, in an attempt to discuss the role of self-organisation in the spatial dynamics of Third World cities. It is suggested that the resulting urban morphology, although related to distinct scales, present similar degree of fragmentation (fractal pattern).

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