Geographia Polonica (1979) vol. 42

Full text

A Systems Analytical Framework for Comprehensive Urban and Regional Model Building

A.G. Wilson, S.M. Macgill

Geographia Polonica (1979) vol. 42, pp. 9-26


It is argued in this paper that it is useful to look at urban and regional systems in a relatively abstract way. The aim is to make broad but useful generalisations about urban and regional modelling. Many particular comprehensive models can then be seen as special cases which can be generated from the framework presented. The approach also enables us to note similarities between models which at first sight seem to be very different in structure.

The main objective of the paper is the development of a framework for compre-hensive urban and regional modelling which represents the minimum basis for any such model. By adding specific assumptions in various respects, many specific mo-dels can be derived.

A particular systems theoretic approach is used in the development of the fra-mework. First a systematic state description is built up in section 2. Then, a variety of methods are introduced in turn: accounting, in section 3, which enables us to keep track of system components; process-activity modelling in section 4, with particular reference to the identification of basic model mechanisms. A range of methods for model building are reviewed in section 5. Examples of their applica-tion in combination are presented in section 6 and some relationships between mo-dels explained in section 7. Section 8 contains a summary of the progress achieved by this argument in the tasks of developing a comprehensive model building kit. Various points which arise in relation to specific models are explored in a related paper (Macgill and Wilson, 1977).


A.G. Wilson, School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds, England
S.M. Macgill, School of Geography, University of Leeds, Leeds, England