Simulating Spatial Growth Patterns in Developing Countries: A Case of Shama in the Western Region of Ghana.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Justice Nana Inkoom and Benjamin Kofi Nyarko, Centre for Development Research/West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use, Dept. of Ecology and Natural Resource Management, University of Bonn., Bonn, Germany
The integration of geographic information systems (GIS) and agent-based modelling (ABM) can be an efficient tool to improve spatial planning practices. This paper utilizes GIS and ABM approaches to simulate spatial growth patterns of settlement structures in Shama. A preliminary household survey on residential location decision-making choice served as the behavioural rule for household agents in the model. Physical environment properties of the model were extracted from a 2005 image implemented in NetLogo. The resulting growth pattern model was compared with empirical growth patterns to ascertain the model’s accuracy. The paper establishes that the development of unplanned structures and its evolving structural pattern are a function of land price, proximity to economic centres, household economic status and location decision-making patterns. The application of the proposed model underlines its potential for integration into urban planning policies and practices, and for understanding residential decision-making processes in emerging cities in developing countries.

Key Words:

GIS; Agent-based modelling; Growth patterns; NetLogo; Location decision making; Computational Intelligence.