Competition for Resources between Agent Functional Types (CRAFTY)

CRAFTY is a large-scale agent-based modelling (ABM) framework for the simulation of land use change. It is designed to allow efficient but powerful simulation of a wide range of land uses across large geographical extents, based on the decision-making of simulated land managers who generate a variety of ecosystem services. It is fully open-source and can be used without the need for any programming.


The basic framework is described in Murray-Rust et al. 2014, and the following variations and applications have also been produced:

- CRAFTY-Sweden: Blanco et al. (2017)

- CRAFTY-EU: Brown et al. (2019)

- Institutional modelling: Holzhauer et al. (2019)


CRAFTY-GB is a spatially-explicit (1 km grid) agent-based model of land use change (for agricultural, forestry and nature conservation uses), including the intensity of land management. The UK-SSPs determine the levels of the socio-economic capitals (human, social, financial and manufactured) that are the attributes of place that agents use in their production strategies. You can access a beta version of CRAFTY-GB through this link.


Github repositories: 

Documentation: (legacy)

                 (under construction)



Brown, C., Seo, B., & Rounsevell, M. (2019). Societal breakdown as an emergent property of large-scale behavioural models of land use change. Earth System Dynamics, 10, 809-845.

Holzhauer, S., Brown, C., & Rounsevell, M. (2019). Modelling dynamic effects of multi-scale institutions on land use change. Regional Environmental Change, 19(3), 733–746.

Synes, N., Brown, C., Palmer, S., Bocedi, G., Osborne, P. E., Watts, K., … Travis, J. (2018). Coupled land use and ecological models reveal emergence and feedbacks in socio-ecological systems. Ecography.

Seo, B., Brown, C., & Rounsevell, M. D. A. (2018). Evaluation and calibration of an agent based land use model using remotely sensed land cover and primary productivity data. In IGARSS 2018-2018 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium(pp. 7476–7479). 10.1109/IGARSS.2018.8518023

Alexander, P., Prestele, R., Verburg, P. H., Arneth, A., Baranzelli, C., Batista e Silva, F., … Rounsevell, M. D. A. A. (2017). Assessing uncertainties in land cover projections. Global Change Biology, 23(2), 767–781.

Blanco, V., Holzhauer, S., Brown, C., Lagergren, F., Vulturius, G., Lindeskog, M., & Rounsevell, M. D. A. (2017). The effect of forest owner decision-making, climatic change and societal demands on land-use change and ecosystem service provision in Sweden. Ecosystem Services, 23(December 2016), 174–208.

Db, D., Holman, I., Audsley, E., Berry, P., Brown, C., Bugmann, H., … Sloth, M. (2017). Modelling Climate Change Impacts , Adaptation and Vulnerability in Europe, 1–100.

Brown, C., Holzhauer, S., Metzger, M. J., Paterson, J. S., & Rounsevell, M. (2016). Land managers’ behaviours modulate pathways to visions of future land systems. Regional Environmental Change, 1–15.

Murray-Rust, D., Brown, C., van Vliet, J., Alam, S. J., Robinson, D. T., Verburg, P. H., & Rounsevell, M. (2014). Combining agent functional types, capitals and services to model land use dynamics. Environmental Modelling and Software, 59, 187–201.

Brown, C., Murray-Rust, D., Van Vliet, J., Alam, S. J., Verburg, P. H., & Rounsevell, M. D. (2014). Experiments in globalisation, food security and land use decision making. PLoS ONE, 9(12), 1–24.

Brown, C., Murray-Rust, D., van Vliet, J., Alam, S. J., Verburg, P. H., & Rounsevell, M. D. (2014). Globalisation, Regionalisation and Behavioural Responses of Land Use Agents. In S. J. Alam & H. V. D. Parunak (Eds.), Multi-Agent-Based Simulation XIV(pp. 101–114). Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Berlin Heidelberg.