Simulating the urban spatial structure with spatial interaction: A case study of urban polycentricity under different scenarios


Polycentric urban development is gaining momentum in both scholarly research and real-life practice. This brings new demand for planning support systems to simulate and analyse the urban spatial structure in terms of polycentricity under various urban policy scenarios. With the help of emerging urban data, urban simulation techniques, and network science, this study proposes a workflow to simulate the urban spatial structure with spatial interaction as a part of the planning support system. Using Singapore as a case study, this study has explored the resulting urban spatial structure with four employment distribution strategies. The results suggest that planning practices impact urban spatial structure and its spatial interaction by redistributing urban morphological elements, such as employment in this study. Also, our results show that the physical urban spatial structure and spatial interaction are closely related. These results reinforce the role of urban planning practice to achieve a more sustainable and coherent urban built environment. Through this empirical evidence, our workflow exemplifies the potential of the planning support system to help urban planners and governments understand their urban policy regarding urban polycentricity.

Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 89, 101677