Friday, December 5, 3:00 p.m.
Center for Social Complexity Suite
Research Hall, Third Floor

Using Agent-Based Modeling to Depict Gentrification in an Area of Washington D. C.

Elaine Reed, PhD Student
Computational Social Science
George Mason University

ABSTRACT: The influx of relatively wealthy residents into blighted areas produces much needed increase in the tax base to support the thinly stretched municipal budgets but is to blame for the displacement and dispersal of those persons not able to afford the rising housing costs. Policy makers are now faced with the problem of how best to study the complex process of gentrification. This paper presents an agent-based model of gentrification of a set of Census tracts in Washington D.C. The model is instantiated with empirical data from the study area and provides a test-bed for different hypotheses of residential mobility during gentrification. This paper demonstrates that multi-agent models with cellular automata representing fixed agents like housing properties, and mobile agents representing the humans interacting with the environment, is a valuable explanatory tool for understanding complex interactive processes related to urban phenomena such as gentrification.