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Urban Growth and Demographic Dynamics in Southern Europe: Toward a New Statistical Approach to Regional Science

Mariateresa Ciommi (), Francesco M. Chelli (), Margherita Carlucci and Luca Salvati ()
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Mariateresa Ciommi: Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Polytechnic University of Marche, Piazzale Martelli 8, I-60121 Ancona, Italy
Francesco M. Chelli: Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Polytechnic University of Marche, Piazzale Martelli 8, I-60121 Ancona, Italy
Luca Salvati: Department of Social and Economic Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Piazzale A. Moro 5, I-00185 Rome, Italy

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 8, 1-16

Abstract: Metropolitan growth in Europe has resulted in drastic changes of urban forms, socio-spatial structures and land-use patterns due to sequential processes of urbanization, suburbanization and re-urbanization. To assess latent shifts from mono-centric models towards more disarticulated and decentralized settlement configurations, the present study evaluates spatio-temporal patterns of growth between the 1920s and the 2010s in three Mediterranean cities with different structure and functions (Barcelona: compact and moderately polycentric; Rome: dispersed, medium-density; Athens: mono-centric, hyper-compact). To identify and characterize long-term urban transformations, an original approach was illustrated in this study, based on a multivariate analysis of 13 indicators resulting from descriptive statistics and linear regression modeling the relationship between population density and distance from inner cities. The empirical results of this study indicate that Barcelona, Rome and Athens have experienced different urbanization cycles, characterized by a (more or less) concentrated distribution of population along urban gradients. Despite similarities in demographic dynamics and planning practices, these processes have determined (i) a mostly centralized growth in Barcelona, (ii) a relatively dispersed and discontinuous spatial structure in Rome, and (iii) a steep decline of population density with the distance from downtown Athens. Compact urban expansion, population decline and urban de-concentration were finally assessed using the analytical approach proposed in this study.

Keywords: urban growth; density-distance curve; indicators; Mediterranean Europe (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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