Calibrating an activity-based cellular automata land-use model for Flanders and Brussels

Tomas Crols, Roger White, Inge Uljee, Guy Engelen, Sven Vanderhaegen, Frank Canters, Lien Poelmans

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceUnpublished abstract


Several land-use models have been developed to evaluate the impact of land-use changes and to monitor the ongoing worldwide growth of urban sprawl. Cellular automata (CA) models can provide spatially explicit simulations of urban growth for large regions. However, in areas with strongly mixed land uses, like Belgium, different types and intensities of human activity occur within a single dominant land use. A CA model normally does not directly simulate these activities. Recently, White et al. (2012) proposed a multiple activity-based CA model that also projects population and employment at the model resolution. Crols et al. (2015) presented an update of this model in order to make the neighbourhood influence rules used in the model dependent on transport network travel time instead of Euclidean distances. This update was first applied to Belgium at a coarse resolution, and subsequently evaluated through historical calibration on Flanders and Brussels at 100 m resolution. To produce the required historical land-use and activity data, we combined high resolution data of today with socio-economic statistics of the past and a soil sealing time series derived from remote sensing (Vanderhaegen et al., submitted), and hypothesise a local relationship between soil sealing, built-up land uses and population. We analysed this hypothesis and developed the best possible estimates matching with yearly municipal data of the Belgian cadaster. The approach led to the historical calibration of the model of Crols et al. (2015) for the period 1986-2013. The calibration enables a thorough analysis of the model components and the parameter choices, and may lead to an improved activity-based CA model.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event6th Belgian Geography Days 2015 - Researchers Day - Vrije Universiteit Brussel - Campus Etterbeek, Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 13 Nov 201513 Nov 2015


Conference6th Belgian Geography Days 2015 - Researchers Day


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