ERC GeoDiverCity International Workshop

ERC GeoDiverCity International Workshop

The ERC GeoDiverCity will organize an International Workshop in October about “Theories and models of urbanization“. The ambition of the meeting is to engage discussion about fundamental questions regarding urban theories and modeling. Invited keynote speeches will be followed each by a roundtable of discussion. Related major results from the ERC will also be presented. The intention of the workshop is to summarize the state of knowledge and prepare an agenda for future research.

The provisionnal programme and the procedure of registration can be found on this dedicated page.

Cities within systems of cities are the best tool for ensuring global sustainability

The COP21 that meet in Paris this December will discuss new agreements between countries for regulating activities that are detrimental to the global environment. Cities, because they organize in systems of cities are the best tool (that was invented long ago by societies) for solving environmental problems: first by circulating in a top-down way the international and national directives, second by sharing bottom-up ingenious local inventions to reduce pollution and save resource. This should no longer be conceived as a competition between cities for being considered as “the smarter” but as a collective challenge for territorial intelligence through interurban emulation. That message was presented last September in a conference at a meeting organized in Versailles by ESRI France that you can find here.

Denise Pumain

Multi-agent modeling of urban growth distribution in systems of cities

A strong regularity in urban systems has long been identified : the hierarchical distribution of city sizes. Moreover, a closer observation of the evolution of this distribution shows that in the majority of city systems, there is a trend towards a more and more unequal distribution of city sizes. Why does the majority of urban systems show those strong regularities? What are the common growth processes involved? Several dynamic growth models have been proposed but no consensus has yet been reached because of the under-determination of models by those empirical laws. In this presentation we describe a new method of agent-based parsimonious modeling that we think can contribute to the identification of the common urban growth processes. This modeling method is based  on  intensive model exploration for quantitative evaluation of implemented mechanisms. The exploration tools were first developed for the evaluation of SimpopLocal, a model of the organization of urban systems when cities first emerged. The use of those exploration tools was then generalized into a modeling method that was applied for the first time with the construction of the MARIUS family of models which aims at reproducing the evolution of Soviet urbanisation between 1959 and 1989. Those two examples show how this new modeling method can help the construction of urban theories by helping the evaluation of assumptions made on urban processes.

Download (PDF, 3.51MB)

Communication at the seminar Quanturb, ISC-PIF (Paris), November 19th.

Clara Schmitt and Paul Chapron

European consultation on Global Systems Science

The FET (Future and Emergent Technologies) Unit of the European Commission proposes an online consultation to understand what the game-changing technologies of the next decades will be. It targets scientists, researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs and members of civil society in general and is open till 15 June 2014.

A particular consultation on “Global Systems Science” is launched with the question : “how can science support policy making on global challenges?”.

More details :

Intensive computing for the Social Sciences

Workshop organized around Intensive Computing in Social Sciences at the Complex Systems Institute in Paris, May 21st, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, 113 rue Nationale, Paris 13th, France.

Free but necessary registration :


Preliminary Programme

> 10:00-10:30. Introduction : Patrice Bourdelais, Head of INSHS, CNRS

Presentation of the ERC GeoDiverCity : Denise Pumain, UMR Géographie-Cités

Presentation of the Complex Systems Institute : David Chavalarias, UMR CAMS

> 10:30- 11:30. OpenMOLE and its uses in Social Sciences

The OpenMOLE plateform, presentation and tutorial : Romain Reuillon and Mathieu Leclaire, ERC GeoDiverCity / ISC-PIF

A collective and interdisciplininary approach of geographical modeling around OpenMOLE : Paul Chapron, Clémentine Cottineau, Sébastien Rey Coyrehourcq, Clara Schmitt, ERC GeoDiverCity / UMR Géographie-Cités

> 11:30-12:30. Questions and discussion

> 2:00-4:00. “Regards croisés”

Big data and intensive computing : The Social Sciences in revolution ? : David Chavalarias, ISC-PIF

Equipex Matrice : Denis Peschanski, CNRS/Université Paris 1 (to be confirmed)

The “Run My Code” experiment, Christophe Perignon, HEC Paris (to be confirmed)

The MEXICO network : Robert Faivre, INRA

The interdisciplinary MAPS network : Marion Amalric, UMR CITERES

The SimTools network : Patrick Taillandier, UMR Idées

The research group GDR Modys : Xavier Rodier, UMR CITERES

> 4:00-5:00. Discussion : Modeling and intensive computing in Social Sciences

Michel Audiffren (GIS Réseau National des MSH), David Chavalarias (ISC-PIF), Guillaume Deffuant (IRSTEA), Catherine Garbay (IMAG), Michel Gollac (CREST), Thérèse Libourel (LIRMM), Anne Ruas (IFFSTAR), Françoise Thibault (Alliance Athena), Hervé Zwirn (CVT Alliance Athéna)

GeoDiverCity at AAG Annual Meeting 2014 in Tampa, Florida

Various contributions of GeoDiverCity team are scheduled for the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers in Tampa, Florida :

Tuesday, 4/8/2014

> Session : 1654 European Research Council – Top European grants for brilliant minds from across the world, from 4:40 PM – 6:20 PM in Grand Salon C, Marriott, Second Floor. Organizer : Katja Meinke.

17:15-17:30    Denise Pumain, “ERC from an Advanced Grantee’s perspective.”

Wednesday, 4/9/2014

> Session : 2268 Urban systems and scaling laws: Functional diversity and urban economic trajectories, from 10:00 AM – 11:40 AM in Meeting Room 1, Marriott, Second Floor. Organizer : Céline Vacchiani-Marcuzzo.

10:00-10:20    Elfie Swerts, Céline Vacchiani-Marcuzzo, Fabien Paulus, “Scaling laws as a tool for characterising the functional evolution in urban systems”

10:20-10:40    Olivier Finance, “Transnational firms in the French system of cities and scaling laws”

> Session : 2239 Geosimulation Models 1: Methodological Advances, from 10:00 AM – 11:40 AM in Room 39, TCC, Fourth Floor. Organizers : Paul Torrens, Suzana Dragicevic, Andrew Crooks.

11:20-11:40    Mathieu Leclaire, Romain Reuillon, “Simpuzzle/Janet tools or how to build a step by step modular ABM ?”

> Session : 2539 Geosimulation Models 3 : Applications – Macro, from 2:40 PM – 4:20 PM in Room 39, TCC, Fourth Floor. Organizers : Paul Torrens, Suzana Dragicevic, Andrew Crooks.

14:00-14:20    Clémentine Cottineau, Paul Chapron, “Evaluation & Calibration for the comparison of ABMs of cities’ trajectories”

16:00-16:20  Denise Pumain, Clara Schmitt, Sébastien Rey-Coyrehourcq, Romain Reuillon, “Building and exploring an agent-based model with OpenMOLE”

Complex Systems and Geography

GeoDiverCity Team was active at presenting their work to a diverse and large audience at the inauguration of the Complex Systems Institute in Paris.

Here are some documents we presented :

> A selection of visual results in geographical modeling

Download (PDF, 5.87MB)

Paul Chapron, Clémentine Cottineau, Robin Cura, César Ducruet, Julie Fen-Chong, Sébastien Haule, Marion Le Texier, Nora Marei and Clara Schmitt

Picture Refs : 1. C. Cottineau, 2. D. Holten & J. W. Jarke, 3. R. Cura, 4.5. C. Ducruet, 6. M. Le Texier, 7. C. Cottineau, 8. P. Chapron, 9.10. C. Schmitt

> Netlogo models of systems of cities

  • SimpopNet

Clara Schmitt


  • MARIUS : Modeling of Agglomerations of Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union

Clémentine Cottineau and Paul Chapron


> A poster about a method to conceive, build and evaluate models at the intersection of generic systems of cities and the specific case of post-Soviet cities

Clémentine Cottineau, Paul Chapron, Denise Pumain and Romain Reuillon


> Accessing the European Grid computing power

Mathieu Leclaire and Romain Reuillon


ECCS 2013 Satellite meeting

Urban Systems Modeling: advances from GeoDiverCity and MECHANICITY ERC programmes

Organizing Committee:

Denise Pumain and Arnaud Banos, UMR Géographie-cités and ERG S4 (Spatial Simulation for Social Sciences), CNRS France

Michael Batty, CASA, University College London, London, UK


GeoDiverCity and MECHANICITY are two projects founded by an advanced ERC Grant. Both are about spatial modelling of urban systems with a specific interest in complex systems approaches and are thus within the main area of researches that are of interest for Complex Systems Society and Conference. The GeoDiverCity programme led by Denise Pumain is analysing and modelling the geographical diversity of cities and systems of cities with applications in Europe, USA, Russia, India, China and South Africa. MECHANICITY stands for Morphology, Energy & Climate cHANge In the CITY and is a five year project lead by Mike Batty. It explores ideas about how energy flows tie the components of cities and their morphology together.

Topics covered by this meeting: Urban systems as complex systems, scaling methods, simulation models of urban systems, validation methods for multi-agents models, development of simulation platforms, spatio-temporal modeling of social systems (relevant for tracks 1-fundamentals of complex systems- 3 – infrastructure, planning and environment-  and  6 –social systems-  of ECCS2013 and possibly 2 since of massive use of ICT in model design and testing as well as urban data analysis).

Previous meetings:

This meeting will present advances in research made since the first joint workshop MECHANICITY-GeoDiverCity held in Avignon, April 24th 2012, within the framework of the AGILE Conference (on geomatic and geographical information systems)


September 19th, 2013


As the workshop is organised by two research teams wanting to compare their experiences, the meeting will at first introduce presentations from each team and is open to a few other selected presentations. Of course the attendance is open and we expect much of the reactions and comments of other specialists in complex system sciences.

From the GeoDiverCity team presentations will be made on use of mobile phone data for urban mobility analysis, urban networks simulation models, new developments of the series of Simpop multi-agents models (SimpopLocal and SimpopNet) as well as the OpenMOLE simulation platform.

From MECHANICITY team presentations will emphasize developments in scaling analysis, spatio-temporal modelling and vizualization tools.

Invited speakers are: Denise Pumain, Arnaud Banos, Clémentine Cottineau,  Clara Schmitt, Sébastien Rey, Elfie Swerts, Romain Reuillon, Mathieu Leclaire, Stefano Ugliano, Michael Batty, Elsa Arcaute, Robin Edwards, Anders Johansson, Sarah Sheppard, Pete Ferguson, Federico Battiston, Melanie Bosredon. Other speakers will be selected according to the available time and the theme of their presentation.



Denise Pumain: Which theoretical bases for understanding the diversity of urban systems?

Clara Schmitt & Sébastien Rey: Simprocess, a method and platform for building geographical simulation models

Romain Reuillon & Mathieu Leclaire: the OpenMOLE simulation platform

Clémentine Cottineau & Paul Chapron: Back in the USSR: a series of models for simulating urban evolution

Elfie Swerts: Complex system view for comparing Indian and Chinese urban systems

Stefano Ugliano: A hypothesis of mutual repulsion for urban networks generated by multinational firms in the food processing sector

Arnaud Banos: title to be confirmed


Mike Batty:The New Science of Cities

Elsa Arcaute: Scaling laws and urban hierarchies through percolation theory

Peter Ferguson: Predicting urban activity distributions using new measures of network accessibility

Joan Serras: Testing mobility models: results of the England and Wales case study

Jiaqiu Wang: Using percolation theory to extract street networks of city cores

Roberto Murcio: Urban entropy measures