Adapting principles of developmental biology and agent-based modelling for automated urban residential layout design

Yuchao Sun, John Taplin

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Abstract

The objective is to automate the design of residential layouts as an aid for planners dealing with complex situations. The algorithm COmputational Urban Layout Design, applied to sites with various shapes, is guided by the goal of many mutually accessible residences and can be set to generate orthogonal or irregular road layouts. Using biological principles of genomic equivalence, conditional differentiation and induction, it grows from an embryonic ‘adaptive cell’ into a plan. Cells are ‘genetically identical’ with full development potential and can simultaneously lay roads and residential lots, using the gene set to change cell expression and adapt to local contexts. Cells can be seen as self-propagating agents that sort out their dependencies through local interactions.

When COmputational Urban LayoutDesign is set to grow a non-orthogonal layout, the plan has winding roads and irregular residential lots. Such a plan achieves the objective of relatively high residential density and accessibility, leading to walkable and coherent communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 973-993
JournalEnvironment and Planning B: Planning and Design
Volume45
Issue number5
Early online date31 Jan 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

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developmental biology
layout
biology
road
modeling
urban design
residential density
accessibility
development potential
aid
genomics
equivalence
induction
gene
plan
interaction
community

Cite this

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