Utilising agent based models for simulating landscape dynamics
Citation:Popov, N. (2009). Utilising agent based models for simulating landscape dynamics. In L. Fennessy, R. Kerr, G. Melles, C. Thong & E. Wright (Eds.). Proceedings of Cumulus 38ºSouth: Hemispheric shifts across learning, teaching and research. Melbourne: Cumulus.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1762
Cities and landscapes are now understood as systems that are open, chaotic, unpredictable, irreversible, and in constant flux - i.e. complex adaptive systems. This is why designers need to develop new modes of practice that can cope with open systems design. The term ‘model’, on the other hand, is now central to our thinking about the way we understand and design cities and landscapes. They are mediators between reality and theory and have a central role in bridging the gap between these two domains. This paper describes a new type of morphological modelling known as Agent Based Modelling (ABM) and investigates its applicability in landscape architectural design and planning. ABM assemble a wide range of theories and tools and offer an interesting view of urban and natural phenomena as a collective dynamics of interacting objects. They explore the connection between microlevel behaviour of individuals and the macro-level patterns that emerge from the interactions of many individuals. This paper examines, through a set of examples, the advantages, the drawbacks and the limitations of this type of modelling, with respect to their applications in landscape architecture. Finally, there will be some speculations about the future of these techniques in landscape design and planning.