The Effects of Inequality, Density, and Heterogeneous Residential Preferences on Urban Displacement and Metropolitan Structure: An Agent-Based Model

Urban Science, 2 (3), 76. doi:10.3390/urbansci2030076

19 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2017 Last revised: 30 Aug 2018

See all articles by Geoff Boeing

Geoff Boeing

University of Southern California - Sol Price School of Public Policy

Date Written: August 27, 2018

Abstract

Urban displacement - when a household is forced to relocate due to conditions affecting its home or surroundings - often results from rising housing costs, particularly in wealthy, prosperous cities. However, its dynamics are complex and often difficult to understand. This paper presents an agent-based model of urban settlement, agglomeration, displacement, and sprawl. New settlements form around a spatial amenity that draws initial, poor settlers to subsist on the resource. As the settlement grows, subsequent settlers of varying income, skills, and interests are heterogeneously drawn to either the original amenity or to the emerging human agglomeration. As this agglomeration grows and densifies, land values increase, and the initial poor settlers are displaced from the spatial amenity on which they relied. Through path dependence, high-income residents remain clustered around this original amenity for which they have no direct use or interest. This toy model explores these dynamics, demonstrating a simplified mechanism of how urban displacement and gentrification can be sensitive to income inequality, density, and varied preferences for different types of amenities.

Keywords: agglomeration, gentrification, displacement, complex systems, social justice, land use, zoning, economic development, urban planning, complexity, inequality, ABM, agent-based model, modeling, simulation, emergence, self-organization, urban sprawl, housing

JEL Classification: O18, R21, R28, R31, R14, R52, C63, D5, C54, R12, C21, C31

Suggested Citation

Boeing, Geoff, The Effects of Inequality, Density, and Heterogeneous Residential Preferences on Urban Displacement and Metropolitan Structure: An Agent-Based Model (August 27, 2018). Urban Science, 2 (3), 76. doi:10.3390/urbansci2030076. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2939933 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2939933

Geoff Boeing (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Sol Price School of Public Policy ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626
United States

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