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European Journal of Population

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 1–28 | Cite as

Re-urbanizing the European City: A Multivariate Analysis of Population Dynamics During Expansion and Recession Times

  • Luca SalvatiEmail author
  • Pere Serra
  • Massimiliano Bencardino
  • Margherita Carlucci
Article

Abstract

After a long phase of suburbanization promoting economic decentralization and uneven expansion of urban rings, re-urbanization has been observed in an increasing number of European cities. However, a comprehensive analysis of demographic dynamics underlying spatial patterns—and factors—of re-urbanization is still lacking for the European continent. This study contributes to fill this knowledge gap by proposing a comparative analysis of population dynamics at two spatial scales (‘inner cities’ and ‘large urban zones’) in 129 European metropolitan regions under economic expansion (2000–2007) and recession (2008–2014). Non-parametric correlations, principal component analysis, and stepwise multiple regressions were used to identify different spatial patterns of population growth at continental and regional scale in Europe. The number of cities studied that showed a trend towards re-urbanization increased from 36 in 2000–2007 to 47% in 2008–2014. Positive rates of population growth in inner cities were found to be associated with high levels of disposable per capita income at the metropolitan scale. During recession, spatial differences in population growth rates were suggestive of a moderate rearrangement towards re-urbanization in northern and central Europe and less polarized metropolitan regions, with declining population in inner cities of southern and eastern Europe. Based on peculiar demographic dynamics found in the study area, the analysis performed brings useful insights to the debate about the future development of European cities.

Keywords

Population dynamics Inner city Large urban zones Data mining 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luca Salvati
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Pere Serra
    • 3
  • Massimiliano Bencardino
    • 4
  • Margherita Carlucci
    • 2
  1. 1.Council for Agricultural Research and EconomicsResearch Centre for Forestry and WoodArezzoItaly
  2. 2.Department of Social and Economic Science“Sapienza” University of RomeRomeItaly
  3. 3.Grumets Research Group, Department of GeographyUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaCerdanyola del VallèsSpain
  4. 4.Department of Political, Social and Communication SciencesUniversity of SalernoFiscianoItaly

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