Simulating Informal Settlement Growth in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: An Agent-based Housing Model

Computers, Environment and Urban SystemsComputers, Environment and Urban Systems, Volume 35, Issue 2, March 2011, Pages 93-103

Ellen-Wien Augustijn-Beckers, Johannes Flacke, and Bas Retsios

“Research highlights:

  • We developed an agent-based model for simulating informal settlement growth.
  • The simulation model is vector-based representing individual houses as polygons.
  • Three rules of extension, infilling, and enlargement of houses were implemented.
  • For model evaluation results were compared to observations in empirical data.

“The simulation of the growth of informal settlements can be an essential building block to manage urbanization processes in cities of the developing world. We used agent-based modelling to develop a vector-based, micro-scale housing model to simulate the growth of informal settlements. A prototype of the housing model was implemented for Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The results show that such a vector-based housing model built on three simple rules of spatial change (infilling, extension and enlargement of existing houses) can successfully simulate the housing pattern of informal settlements growth.”