Modelling sustainable urban development by the integration of constrained cellular automata and GIS
Cellular Automata (CA) have attracted growing attention in urban simulation because their capability in spatial modelling is not fully developed in GIS. This paper discusses how cellular automata (CA) can be extended and integrated with GIS to help planners to search for better urban forms for sustainable development. The cellular automata model is built within a grid-GIS system to facilitate easy access to GIS databases for constructing the constraints. The essence of the model is that constraint space is used to regulate cellular space. Local, regional and global constraints play important roles in affecting modelling results. In addition, 'grey' cells are defined to represent the degrees or percentages of urban land development during the iterations of modelling for more accurate results. The model can be easily controlled by the parameter k using a power transformation function for calculating the constraint scores. It can be used as a useful planning tool to test the effects of different urban development scenarios.