Building a Spatial Economic Model for Caracas using PECAS

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Spatial economic models provide a more holistic approach for planning and policy testing. This research explores how well PECAS - a spatial economic model developed in North America-, simulates activity allocation in the context of the rapid growth and high degree of socio-spatial segregation present in Latin America. This is answered by building and calibrating a PECAS model of Caracas, and performing policy sensitivity test with this model. The model was calibrated successfully using a modified version of the standard approach, but it could perform better regarding centrally-located slums and some non-residential spaces, with certain extensions identified as part of this research. Two policy tests were performed with the model: public housing provision and a larger increase in transit fare. The first test indicated that a modest increase in additional housing reduce rents across a range of space types. This benefited renters, but was detrimental to property owners. The second test showed that higher transit fares made households travel less, consume services closer to home with less utility, and relocate such that those out of poverty centralized (with higher rents) and those in poverty decentralized, reinforcing socio-spatial segregation. Higher transport cost benefited some businesses by increasing their market dominance, some change location and production to minimize the impact of wages. This research provides more complete documentation and demonstrates some alternative approaches for the data development and calibration of PECAS models, especially for developing countries. It also delivers some indications regarding the impacts of specific policies in the Caracas context, allowing for a better understanding of its urban system. The application of PECAS in this research brought out the issues around the interpretation of changes in rents and the repercussion for different segments of the population when poverty, high inflation, and partially unregulated developments are involved. This works also identified the potential for improvements in the theoretical formulation of PECAS, specifically in its treatment of the affinity of certain households to live in certain residential types. These would allow PECAS to become a more broadly applicable land use modelling framework for regions in both, developed and developing countries.
Geography, Sociology--Transportation, Urban and Regional Planning, Engineering--Civil
Fuenmayor Molero, G. J. (2016). Building a Spatial Economic Model for Caracas using PECAS (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from doi:10.11575/PRISM/25179