Action A2. Urban complexity and networks: Morphology, Modelling, Multiplexity, Metamorphosis [4M]


Urban complexity and networks: Morphology, Modelling, Multiplexity, Metamorphosis [4M]

The aim of this action is to understand the role of spatiality and the multiplicity of levels of organisation in the complexity, operation and evolution of cities.

The aim of this research action is to combine the approach based on the complexity of self-organising systems – which attaches great importance to the simulation of urban structures (including LUTIs, see Wegener & Fuerst, 2004) and their evolution (Portugali, 2000; Albeverio et al, 2008; Batty, 2005, 2013) – and the approach centred on the complexity of urban spatiality, which has focused more specifically on urban shape, from the shapes of fabrics (Berghauser-Pont and Haupt 2010; Gil et al. 2012; Vialard 2013), the configuration of networks (Hillier and Hanson, 1984; Hillier, 1996; Porta et al., 2010), through to fractal and constructional analysis (Batty and Longley, 1994; Frankhauser, 1994; Rocha et al., 2013). This involves combining synergetics, analysing the properties of complex systems and analysing the physical shapes associated with them in the city, especially in terms of networks. This hybridisation of approaches also implies a hybridisation of methods: geosimulation and morphological analysis of urban networks will be associated more closely and will jointly shed light on research into the implications of shape in the operation of a complex city. Another hybridisation that characterises our work is the interweaving of empirical knowledge of the study areas with theoretical models of how urban shapes and functions are organised. The resulting comparative approach has methodological consequences requiring both the creation and analysis of urban databases on well-established observed sites (primarily the Mediterranean cities that ESPACE researchers have been investigating for a long time, compared with other urban realities) and the construction of more theoretical stylised facts, using geosimulation.


G. Fusco


A. Araldi, F. Audard, S. Bridier, M. Caglioni, F. Decoupigny, J. Dutozia, K. Emsellem, H. Fouillade-Orsini, G. Fusco, S. Gadal, C. Genre-Granpierre, D. Josselin, V. Laperrière, S. Liziard, F. Masse, D. Moreno, J. Perez, A. Venerandi

Objectives of the action

The main objective of this research action is to understand the role of physical forms and the multiplicity of levels of organization in urban complexity and its multiple functions. It can be broken down into a number of more specific questions, corresponding to the four Ms below, which are all issues of geographical knowledge :
M1 – What role does urban morphology, and in particular its configuration, play in the self-organisation of urban functions (mobility, commercial activities, residential choices) and in the dynamics of urban growth (or decline) ?
M2 – How can different modelling approaches be hybridised to understand the complexity of the city ? In particular, geosimulation approaches (ADM) will be hybridised with other approaches based on empirical data (statistical analyses, based on artificial intelligence, using big data, in connection with the DAMIA action).
M3 – How do the different levels of urban organisation interact in structuring urban space? This question raises the issue of multiplexity (the existence of a plurality of levels of reticular organisation), interactions between individuals and spatial structures and the question of the interweaving of different scales of urban organisation (fabrics, conurbations and city networks).
M4 – What metamorphoses can be observed today in the forms and functions of the city (i.e. what changes in spatiality, physical and/or functional configurations, correlate with current societal changes: globalisation and metropolisation, demographic ageing, heritage designation and touristification of spaces, etc.) ?

List of funded research contracts

    RSS Action A2. Complexité Urbaine et Réseaux : Morphologie, Modélisation, Multiplexité, Métamorphose – Carnet de recherche de l'UMR ESPACE

    • Prix du meilleur papier / Conférence ICCSA 2023 11/07/2023
      La 23e International Conference on Computational Science and Its Applications (ICCSA 2023) s’est tenue du 3 au 6 juillet 2023 en collaboration avec l’Université technique nationale d’Athènes et l’Université de la mer Égée, Athènes,…
    • Prix du meilleur article doctorant / Mounir Oukhattar 03/05/2023
      Mounir Oukhattar, doctorant ESPACE sous la direction de Sébastien Gadal et la codirection de Catherine Keller (UM 34 CEREGE) a reçu dans le cadre de la 9th International Conference on Geographical Information Systems Theory,…
    • Traffic surveys by Lorenzo BROCCHINI / Doctoral Student 06/04/2023
      Lorenzo Brocchini is a PhD student coming from the University od Pisa (UNIPI) in Italy, in cotutelle with UMR ESPACE in Avignon. He is an engineer in civil and industrial engineering and transport modelling….