In the paper, we introduce a simulation framework for examining the effect of street network configuration on the evolution of the relationship between movement and land use allocation over time. The causal chain introduced in Space Syntax literature suggests that the potential generated by spatial configuration of a street network influences how people move and that these movement flows attract specific types of land uses. These land uses generate in turn additional movement creating an endless cycle of mutual interactions. In Space Syntax, this interaction between movement flow and land use is assumed to work in a positive feedback loop, multiplying the initial potentials given by a street network configuration. The practical consequence of this hypothetical assumption for the Space Syntax method is that the outcome of the feedback loop can be predicted as multiplication of the initial state and therefore doesn’t have to be simulated.
A computational method is set up for testing the multiplier effect hypothesis and identify the cases in which it holds true and those ones in which more detailed investigation considering feedback loops might be necessary. We demonstrate how such investigation based on the simulation of the interactions between movement and land use in time can be operationalized and conduct series of studies exploring the spatio-temporal effects of street network configuration.
We conclude that these exemplary studies show how the presented simulation model can be used to test the core assumption behind the Space Syntax method. We also offer preliminary insides about when and under which conditions it can be reliably applied and when system dynamic simulation might be necessary to predict not only the immediate, but also the long-term effects of street network configurations on centrality, movement and land use distribution.
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