Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society
Volume 2007 (2007), Article ID 48589, 20 pages
Research Article

A Spatially Extended Model for Residential Segregation

Antonio Aguilera1 and Edgardo Ugalde2

1Programa de Estudios Políticos e Internacionales, El Colegio de San Luis, A.C., Parque de Macul 155, Frac. Colinas del Parque, San Luis Potosí CP 78299, SLP, Mexico
2Instituto de Física, Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, Av. Manuel Nava 6, Zona Universitaria, San Luis Potosí CP 78290, SLP, Mexico

Received 15 August 2006; Accepted 5 March 2007

Copyright © 2007 Antonio Aguilera and Edgardo Ugalde. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We analyze urban spatial segregation phenomenon in terms of the income distribution over a population, and an inflationary parameter weighting the evolution of housing prices. For this, we develop a discrete spatially extended model based on a multiagent approach. In our model, the mobility of socioeconomic agents is driven only by the housing prices. Agents exchange location in order to fit their status to the cost of their housing. On the other hand, the price of a particular house depends on the status of its tenant, and on the neighborhood mean lodging cost weighted by a control parameter. The agent's dynamics converges to a spatially organized configuration, whose regularity is measured by using an entropy-like indicator. This simple model provides a dynamical process organizing the virtual city, in a way that the population inequality and the inflationary parameter determine the degree of residential segregation in the final stage of the process, in agreement with the segregation-inequality thesis put forward by Douglas Massey.