Department of Computational Social Science Seminar-MALIK

Friday, November 22, 3:00 p.m.
Center for Social Complexity Suite
Research Hall, Third Floor

Exploring Creativity and Urban Development through Agent-Based Modeling

Ammar Malik
PhD Student
School of Public Policy
George Mason University

Melanie Swartz
MAIS-CSS Student
George Mason University

ABSTRACT: Scholars and urban planners have suggested that the key characteristic of leading world cities is that they attract the best and brightest minds. As home to the creative classes, which consist of professionals working in knowledge-based industries, they are the bedrocks of prosperity and drivers of innovation. They not only provide unrivaled educational and professional opportunities, but also the best entertainment facilities such as art galleries, theaters and restaurants. Both through hard and soft infrastructure, residents of these cities enjoy seamless connectivity which fosters human creativity. When combined with population density, socio-economic diversity and societal tolerance; the elevated interaction intensity diffuses creativity and boosts economic productivity. We operationalize these insights by creating a stylized agent-based model of a theoretical city inspired by social complexity theory. A virtual environment is created where heterogeneous and independent decision-making agents interact under various policy scenarios such as greater urban transportation investments and altering land-use regulations. By creating typical urban conditions, we conclude that the combination of mixed land-use, improved access to urban mobility and high societal tolerance levels foster creativity led urban economic growth.