Advertisement

Quantifying Urban Diversity: Multiple Spatial Measures of Physical, Social, and Economic Characteristics

  • Timothy Rosner
  • Kevin M. CurtinEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Geotechnologies and the Environment book series (GEOTECH, volume 13)

Abstract

With long-standing trends of rural-to-urban migration, and resultant increasing urban growth, the role the built environment plays in creating a livable urban space will only increase in importance. This research examines Jane Jacobs’ four generators of urban diversity, as presented in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, and attempts to quantify those concepts in a meaningful way. This chapter presents a methodology for assessing each of the four generators – dwelling density, block length, mix of building age, and mix of uses – as well as a new composite Urban Livability Index that combines all four generators. The resultant values are examined with measures of spatial autocorrelation to determine areas within a city that could benefit from investment in one or more parameters of livability. The methods presented here are intended to create a framework that may be applied to any city in order to assess the built environment and provide useful information to city planners and policy-makers. The District of Columbia is used as a case study for the application and testing of this methodology.

Keywords

Urban geography Diversity Livability Jane Jacobs Geographic information analysis 

References

  1. Apparicio P, Seguin A, Naud D (2008) The quality of the urban environment around public housing buildings in Montreal: An objective approach based on GIS and multivariate statistical analysis. Soc Indic Res 86(3):355–380. doi: 10.1007/s11205-007-9185-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bramley G, Power S (2009) Urban form and social sustainability: the role of density and housing type. Environ Plan B: Plan Des 36(1):30–48. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1068/b33129
  3. Cervero R (2002) Built environments and mode choice: toward a normative framework. Transp Res D 7(4):265–284. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1361-9209(01)00024-4
  4. Cozens P, Hillier D (2008) The shape of things to come: new urbanism, the grid and the Cul-De-Sac. Int Plan Stud 13(1):51–73. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13563470801969962
  5. Day K (2003) New urbanism and the challenges of designing for diversity. J Plan Educ Res 23(1):83–95. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0739456X03255424
  6. Doi K, Kii M, Nakanishi H (2008) An integrated evaluation method of accessibility, quality of life, and social interaction. Environ Plann B 35(6):1098–1116. doi: 10.1068/b3315t CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Filion P, Hammond K (2003) Neighbourhood land use and performance: the evolution of neighbourhood morphology over the 20th century. Environ Plan B: Plan Des 30(2):271–296. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1068/b12844
  8. Grant J (2002) Mixed use in theory and practice: Canadian experience with implementing a planning principle. J Am Plan Assoc 68(1):71–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hirt S (2007) The devil is in the definitions: contrasting American and German approaches to Zoning. J Am Plan Assoc 73(4):436–450. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01944360708978524
  10. Jacobs J (1992) The death and life of great American cities. Vintage Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. Krizek K (2003) Operationalizing neighborhood accessibility for land use – travel behavior research and regional modeling. J Plan Educ Res 22(3):270–287. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0739456X02250315
  12. Laurence PL (2006) The death and life of urban design: Jane Jacobs, the Rockefeller foundation and the new research in urbanism, 1955–1965. J Urban Des 11(2):145–172. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13574800600644001
  13. Martinez J (2009) The use of GIS and indicators to monitor intra-urban inequalities. A case study in Rosario, Argentina. Habitat Int 33(4):387–396. doi: 10.1016/j.habitatint.2008.12.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Mellon JG (2009) Visions of the livable city: reflections on the Jacobs-Mumford debate. Ethics Place Environ 12(1):35–48. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13668790902753047
  15. Miles R, Song Y (2009) “Good” neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon: Focus on both social and physical environments. J Urban Aff 31(4):491–509. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9906.2009.00457.x
  16. Nasar JL (2003) Does neotraditional development build community? J Plan Educ Res 23(1):58–68. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0739456X03256224
  17. Openshaw S (1983) The modifiable areal unit problem. Geo Books, NorwickGoogle Scholar
  18. Pacione M (2003) Quality-of-life research in urban geography. Urban Geogr 24(4):314–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Rodrigue J-P, Comtois C, Slack B (2009) The geography of transport systems, 2nd edn. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  20. Song Y (2005) Smart growth and urban development pattern: a comparative study. Int Reg Sci Rev 28(2):239–265. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0160017604273854
  21. Talen E (1999) Charter of the new urbanism, 2nd edn. McGraw Hill Education, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. Taylor R, Koons B, Kurtz E, Greene J, Perkins D (1995) Street blocks with more non-residential land-use have more physical deterioration – evidence from Baltimore and Philadelphia. Urban Aff Rev 31(1):120–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Tesfazghi E, Martinez J, Verplanke J (2010) Variability of Quality of Life at Small Scales: Addis Ababa, Kirkos Sub-City. Soc Indic Res 98(1):73–88. doi: 10.1007/s11205-009-9518-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Van Kamp I, Leidelmeijer K, Marsman G, de Hollander A (2003) Urban environmental quality and human well-being – Towards a conceptual framework and demarcation of concepts; a literature study. Landscape Urban Plan 65(1–2):7–20Google Scholar
  25. Wansborough M, Mageean A (2000) The role of urban design in cultural regeneration. J Urban Des 5(2):181–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Wood L, Frank L, Giles-Corti B (2010) Sense of community and its relationship with walking and neighborhood design. Soc Sci Med 70(9):1381–1390. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.01.021

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rails-to-Trails ConservancyWashington, DCUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geography and GeoInformation ScienceGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

Personalised recommendations