Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Agricultural and Resource Economics

Committee Chair

Hodjat Ghadimi

Committee Co-Chair

Chris Haddox

Committee Member

Randall W Jackson

Committee Member

Barbara McFall

Committee Member

Peter V Schaeffer

Committee Member

Michael P Strager


Spatial structure of a city is a key determinant of its socioeconomic well-being and there is a growing interest in models that investigate the relation between spatial structure and sustainable urban development. This dissertation aims to examine the role of urban spatial structure on social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainability through developing an integrated modeling framework. In particular, this modeling framework bridges "design of urban built environment" and "sustainable development" at the city-region level through simulation and measuring the effect of changes in urban spatial structure on the stock of various asset forms including natural, human, and physical capital.;The proposed methodology consists of an integrated modeling framework through which various spatial configurations of the selected urban facilities are simulated and simulation outputs are evaluated in terms of sustainability. This framework consists of four components: i. a spatial database, ii. a land suitability analysis, iii. a spatial optimization model which is a combination of optimal facility location and optimal shopping frequency models and iv. a sustainability assessment. The sustainability metrics of Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) is employed to evaluate simulation results and reveal the direction and magnitude of effects.;The modeling framework was applied to the study area of Morgantown, West Virginia for a case of locating food and beverage stores. The simulation results were generalized into a set of monocentric, polycentric and decentralized scenarios in order to measure the GPI level's change due to the changes in the spatial configuration of food and beverage stores. The results show that even a modest change in the spatial configuration of an urban facility (food and beverage store) can significantly change the urban sustainability level as measured by GPI.