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Fractals in Urban Geography: a theoretical outline and an empirical example

Abstract : Recently, fractal theory has become popular in urban geography. Actually, its formalisation is compatible with many characteristics of the urban systems : self-similarity in clustering and fragmentation of spatial patterns at different scales, hierarchical organisation, sinuosity of borders, and non linear dynamics. First, we recall how fractal properties can be related to important features of urban morphology just as easily as to the evolution of urban systems. Second, we briefly review the main trends in the application of fractals to urban issues : the description of urban morphologies (built-up areas, distribution of activities, networks, borders...), the simulation of urban growth and settlement systems analysis. A specific application to the question of urban limits will be presented in detail. Issues of relevance and validation will be discussed, especially regarding the combination of different types of spatial structures.
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Contributor : Théoriser Et Modéliser Pour Aménager (umr 6049) Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté <>
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Cécile Tannier, Denise Pumain. Fractals in Urban Geography: a theoretical outline and an empirical example. Cybergeo : Revue européenne de géographie / European journal of geography, UMR 8504 Géographie-cités, 2005, ⟨10.4000/cybergeo.3275⟩. ⟨hal-00804295⟩



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