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Multi-Dimensional Urban Sprawl in Europe: a Self-Organizing Map Approach

  • Daniel Arribas-Bel

    ()

  • Peter Nijkamp

    ()

  • Henk Scholten

The present paper considers urban sprawl in Europe from a multi- dimensional and exploratory point of view. Several literatures on the topic (mainly from urban economics, but also from other fields such as urban planning or regional science) are reviewed to extract the main dimensions of the phenomenon, which are found to be the following six: connectivity, decentralization, density, scattering, accessibility to open space and land- use mix. Several indicators are defined and calculated to measure them for a representative sample of 209 European cities. The data are presented to the self-organizing map (SOM) algorithm to observe how the different dimensions interact with each other and what is their behaviour. The analysis of the SOM reveals very interesting patterns that could not be unveiled otherwise. The paper also presents results of an exploration on the relation to geographical location and population size, characterizing the cities in terms of their degree and variety of sprawl.

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Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa10p485.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa10p485
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  1. Jan K. Brueckner & Ann G. Largey, 2006. "Social Interaction and Urban Sprawl," CESifo Working Paper Series 1843, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Robert O. Harvey & W. A. V. Clark, 1965. "The Nature and Economics of Urban Sprawl," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(1), pages 1-9.
  3. Turner, Matthew A., 2007. "A simple theory of smart growth and sprawl," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 21-44, January.
  4. Marcy Burchfield & Henry G. Overman & Diego Puga & Matthew A. Turner, 2006. "Causes of Sprawl: A Portrait from Space," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 587-633, May.
  5. Edward L. Glaeser & Matthew E. Kahn, 2003. "Sprawl and Urban Growth," NBER Working Papers 9733, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jan Ritsema van Eck & Eric Koomen, 2008. "Characterising urban concentration and land-use diversity in simulations of future land use," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 123-140, March.
  7. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, June.
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