The Annals of Regional Science

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 687–705 | Cite as

Spatial dynamics of urban neighborhood quality of life

  • Elizabeth Delmelle
  • Jean-Claude Thill
  • Chunhua Wang
Special Issue Paper


This paper investigates the spatial process of neighborhood improvement and decline with respect to its quality of life (QoL) profile. In particular, it seeks to determine to what extent a neighborhood’s geographic situation impacts its probability of improving or declining and is spatial proximity equally advantageous and detrimental. To answer these spatial dependence questions, we employ and expand upon a spatial Markov model. Aside from the standard weight matrix typically utilized in spatial Markov studies comprised of the mean value of a neighborhood’s surrounding area, this paper furthers this conceptualization by exploring alternate specifications including the mode and upper and lower quartiles. Results suggest that spatial dependence plays a strong role in impacting biennial transitions, and when examining the upper and lower quartiles, this dependence is shown to be nonlinear and amplified at the extreme ends of the QoL spectrum. A case study of neighborhoods in the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, during the 2000–2010 decade is used to illustrate these concepts to the study of neighborhood dynamics.

JEL Classification

R11 O18 I30 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Delmelle
    • 1
  • Jean-Claude Thill
    • 1
  • Chunhua Wang
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Geography and Earth SciencesUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA
  2. 2.School of International Trade and EconomicsUniversity of International Business and EconomicsBeijingChina

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