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Land 2014, 3(3), 1158-1179; doi:10.3390/land3031158

Calibrating and Validating a Simulation Model to Identify Drivers of Urban Land Cover Change in the Baltimore, MD Metropolitan Region

1
Department of Geography-Earth Science, Shippensburg University, 1871 Old Main Dr., Shippensburg, PA 17257, USA
2
City Planner, Urban Development Department, City of Hattiesburg, 200 Forrest St., Hattiesburg, MS 39401, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 July 2014 / Revised: 23 August 2014 / Accepted: 27 August 2014 / Published: 17 September 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Change Modeling: Connecting to the Bigger Picture)
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Abstract

We build upon much of the accumulated knowledge of the widely used SLEUTH urban land change model and offer advances. First, we use SLEUTH’s exclusion/attraction layer to identify and test different urban land cover change drivers; second, we leverage SLEUTH’s self-modification capability to incorporate a demographic model; and third, we develop a validation procedure to quantify the influence of land cover change drivers and assess uncertainty. We found that, contrary to our a priori expectations, new development is not attracted to areas serviced by existing or planned water and sewer infrastructure. However, information about where population and employment growth is likely to occur did improve model performance. These findings point to the dominant role of centrifugal forces in post-industrial cities like Baltimore, MD. We successfully developed a demographic model that allowed us to constrain the SLEUTH model forecasts and address uncertainty related to the dynamic relationship between changes in population and employment and urban land use. Finally, we emphasize the importance of model validation. In this work the validation procedure played a key role in rigorously assessing the impacts of different exclusion/attraction layers and in assessing uncertainty related to population and employment forecasts. View Full-Text
Keywords: Baltimore; Maryland; SLEUTH; land use change; cellular automata (CA); validation Baltimore; Maryland; SLEUTH; land use change; cellular automata (CA); validation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Jantz, C.; Drzyzga, S.; Maret, M. Calibrating and Validating a Simulation Model to Identify Drivers of Urban Land Cover Change in the Baltimore, MD Metropolitan Region. Land 2014, 3, 1158-1179.

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