Fractalopolis, the multifractal urban planning model, now published in the journal “Computers, Environment and Urban Systems”

A fifteen pages article synthesizes the planning premises that inspired applying the concept to the Grand Besançon agglomeration, thus outlining the second step of applying fractal models for urban and regional purposes.

Fractalopolis allows conceiving development plans on an urban and regional scale, based on five basic principles: a hierarchized polycentric urban development; a development linked to transportation axes; a locally concentrated development of residential areas avoiding diffuse sprawl, the interpenetration of green areas and urban areas across scales; the preservation of an interconnected network of green and natural areas of different size. The article focusses on the formal frame, which allows integrating all at once these five planning principles. The article starts by introducing the theoretical multifractal planning concept and explains then, more deeply, the software simulation tool, which allows applying the model to real world situations. A detailed description of the different modules and the application to the Great Besançon urban area illustrate the stepwise construction of such a planning scenario. I.) Choosing the central places of different hierarchical order as well as their catchment areas. II.) Evaluation of the performance of these areas with respect to the accessibilities to different types of amenities III.) Analysis and calibration of the spatial configuration of residential development according to the purposes of existing master plans.


Frankhauser P., Tannier C., Vuidel G., Houot H. (2018), An integrated multifractal modelling to urban and regional planning, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 67, 132–146.

Fractalopolis's webside


fig fratcalopolis site thema


Last Updated: Friday, 31 August 2018 13:01

Pierre Frankhauser et Claudia Yamu: Winners of the Breheny Prize

The editors of Environment and Planning B would like to announce that the Michael Breheny prize for the best paper published in 2015 has been awarded to Claudi Yamu and Pierre Frankhauser for their paper ‘Spatial accessibility to amenities, natural areas and urban green spaces: using a multiscale, multifractal simulation model for managing urban sprawl’ which was published in the journal in November 2015, vol. 42, no. 6, 1054–1078.


Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design Announcement

Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2017 13:25

Talk Announcement: Rémi Lemoy "The city in 2 and 3 dimensions: monocentric analysis and scaling of land use and population density" on monday the 21th november 2016 in Besançon 

The talk will take place at 14h on monday the 21th november at the ThéMA lab building (3rd floor building D).


Remi Lemoy

Rémi Lemoy

Researcher (Post-doc) at the University of Luxembourg




In this work we study the profile of land use and population density in European cities with respect to the distance to the city centre. We use the GMES Urban Atlas database, providing a precise description of land use at 5m resolution in the 300 major European urban areas (more than 100.000 inhabitants). We combine this dataset with population density from the Geostat population grid, which covers the whole of European Union with a 1km2 resolution. Population is allocated proportionally to surface and weighted by soil sealing and density classes of the GMES data.

We analyse the evolution with distance to the city centre of population density and of the share of land which is artificial. We analyse the scaling of these curves with respect to city population. We find that land use curves, in particular artificial land uses, tend to scale like the square root of city population. Population curves have roughly exponential shapes, as it has been widely modelled in the literature, although usually not based on land use and soil sealing data. Population curves tend to scale like the city population to a power of roughly 1/3.

These results allow us to propose a simple monocentric description of land use shares and population curves in a representative European city, whose size can be chosen based on the scaling relationships we obtain. This result is especially interesting, and of practical use, for the purpose of calibration and validation of monocentric urban models, that can differentiate (or not) housing from land and include interactions between non-developed and developed land.

Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2017 13:26
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