Gravity Core, Suppression Zone and Leapfrogging… the basics of spatial economics

Let’s continue with urban mathematics shall we? If you are fascinated with cities as I am it’s a path worth taking. This is the ‘WHY’. The deeper understanding of why the city behaves the way it does.

Let’s see what the model I have developed is actually teaching us. As a reminder, the model progresses up to “Nash equilibrium” for one product, with equal distribution of suppliers and customers. The model illustrates how a market failure was created, similarly to the model of the ice-cream vendors. In this article, I would like to show examples of the phenomena that the model produces.

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The hard stuff

OK, here it is, the most complicated part of the book. I’ll try to explain this urban mathematics thing as clearly as I can, but I guess I’ll need to re-write it few times. This article would probably be tricky to follow but fortunately, there are pictures.

So, deep breath…

My goal here is to find the mathematical equivalent of (don’t panic) Nash equilibrium on a large scale with many players. Just as in the example of the ice cream vendors, I am looking for the easiest way to explain why businesses are clustered in the city, using the simplest possible algorithm.

Hmm, sounds reasonable so far. Are you with me? let’s go.

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Urban Mathematics and ice cream

People tend to hear the word ‘Mathematics’ and run away… So here is a simple article that explains, without any scary formulas, the basic economic principle that leads to the creation of cities and suburbs. It starts with a little something called “The ice cream vendors” that illustrates how a free market leads to a familiar and problematic spatial situation.

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