UPon – Urban Percolations


The UPon project aims for a deeper understanding of the percolation properties of cities and the urban fabric. The goal is to find out how the spatial organization of cities and settlements determines the percolation threshold and based on which factors the critical value can be ‘predicted’. Why do some countries have particularly small or large critical values? One may argue that the population density may play a role, but even for the same fraction of urban pixels (analogous to the occupation probability in percolation theory), these pixels can be distributed in arbitrary clusters so that a wide range of percolation thresholds are possible. In summary, the project consists of three work packages with seven tasks in total, addressing the prediction of the percolation threshold, poles of inaccessibility (complementary to cluster formation), travel time percolation, and spatial correlations of urban clusters. To address this work, a set of more technical tasks will also be conducted, including a variant of the Leath algorithm, parameter free clustering, and a clustering comparison exercise. Overall, the project represents a systematic, data-driven assessment of urban percolation properties.

The Project is funded by DFG and runs from 10/2021 until 09/2024.

Contact: Diego Rybski (coordinator), Christiane Walter