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Measuring and understanding the differences between urban and rural areas


  • Malcolm J Beynon
  • Andrew Crawley
  • Max Munday


Understanding the factors that make a location more rural or urban is an important task for planners and policymakers. Traditional individual characteristics of rurality sometimes hide the more complex social as well as physical dynamics of a locality. This paper builds on early work which applied factor analysis to construct a single index of rurality. An approach is developed with a combined metric encompassing multiple measures. These are capable individually of defining rurality but together they deliver greater insight on more complex patterns and help to redefine the simple notion of rurality. The paper then utilises a novel graphical method, the constellation graph, providing a diagnostic and visual framework to aid planners when assessing the spatial dimensions of a locality.

Suggested Citation

  • Malcolm J Beynon & Andrew Crawley & Max Munday, 2016. "Measuring and understanding the differences between urban and rural areas," Environment and Planning B, , vol. 43(6), pages 1136-1154, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:envirb:v:43:y:2016:i:6:p:1136-1154

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