Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Delineating a ‘15-Minute City’: An Agent-based Modeling Approach

With more and more people living in urban areas and the current COVID pandemic, human mobility within cities has changed. With this change there is a a growing debate about what it would take to make cities more accessible.  For example, what would it take for the inhabitants of cities be able to access most of their daily essentials (e.g., shopping, work, education, entertainment) within 15 minutes, commuting from their own doorstep either via walking, cycling, or other modes of transportation (e.g., bus, rail)?

To explore this notion of a 15 minute city, at the GeoSim'21: the 4th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on GeoSpatial Simulation, Qingqing Chen  and myself had a paper entitled "Delineating a ‘15-Minute City’: An Agent-based Modeling Approach to Estimate the Size of Local Communities." While below we provide the abstract to the paper, being an online workshop, the talks were recorded so if you don't want to read the paper, you can watch Qingqing introduce the paper and see an example model run below. If this is of interest, at the bottom of the post we provide a link to the paper, while the actual model along with data needed to run the model can be found at https://github.com/chenqingqing/delineating-a-15minsCity.  


With progressively increased people living in cities, and lately the global COVID-19 outbreak, human mobility within cities has changed. Coinciding with this change, is the recent uptake of the ‘15-Minute City’ idea in urban planning around the world. One of the hallmarks of this idea is to create a high quality of life within a city via an acceptable travel distance (i.e., 15 minutes). However, a definitive benchmark for defining a ‘15- Minute City’ has yet to be agreed upon due to the heterogeneous character of urban morphologies worldwide. To shed light on this issue, we develop an agent-based model named ‘D-FMCities’ utilizing realistic street networks and points-of-interest, in this instance the borough of Queens in New York City as a test case. Through our modeling we grow diverse communities from the bottom up and estimate the size of such local communities to delineate 15-minute cities. Our findings suggest that the model could be helpful to detect the flexibility of defining the extent of a ‘15-minute city’ and consequently support uncovering the underlying factors that may affect its various definitions and diverse sizes throughout the world. 

Keywords: 15-minute city, Agent-based modelling, Local communities, Street networks, Point-of-interests, COVID-19.

Model Demo:

Full Reference:

Chen, Q and Crooks, A.T. (2021). Delineating a ‘15-Minute City’: An Agent-based Modeling Approach to Estimate the Size of Local Communities. In GeoSim '21: Proceedings of the 4th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Workshop on GeoSpatial Simulation, November 2, 2021, Beijing, China, pp 29-37.  (PDF)



Tuesday, November 09, 2021

GIS and ABM: Past, Present and Future

The other day, Alison Heppenstall and myself were invited to give a keynote at the 2021 International Conference on Geospatial Information Sciences. Its not hard to guess what we chose to be the title of our talk: "GIS and Agent-Based-Modelling: Past, Present and Future."

The talk was a synthesis of two publications (Crooks et al. 2019 and Heppenstall et al. 2021) along with some things we are currently working on. For those who are interested the conference has released not only our talk but also the other keynotes.