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Shaping Dimensions of Urban Complexity: The Role of Economic Structure and Socio-Demographic Local Contexts

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Abstract

Diversification in urban functions—a key component of urban complexity—was analysed using Pielou’s evenness indexes for 12 socioeconomic dimensions (economic structure, working classes, education, demographic structure by age, composition of non-native population by citizenship, distribution of personal incomes, land-use, land imperviousness, building use, vertical profile of buildings, building age, construction materials) at a local spatial scale in the Athens’ metropolitan region, Greece. Urban and rural districts were found respectively the most and less diversified contexts, outlining a diversification gradient negatively associated with the distance from Athens. A canonical correlation analysis characterized local contexts with high and low diversification in socioeconomic functions. A spatially-explicit regression model finally demonstrates that local-scale complexity increases with urban concentration, population growth and average per-capita income. A multivariate analysis of individual dimensions of urban complexity is a promising tool to assess socioeconomic transformations in contemporary cities.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of CR within the National Sustainability Program I (NPU I), Grant Number LO1415.

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Correspondence to Luca Salvati.

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Salvati, L., Carlucci, M. Shaping Dimensions of Urban Complexity: The Role of Economic Structure and Socio-Demographic Local Contexts. Soc Indic Res 147, 263–285 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-019-02156-2

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Keywords

  • Socioeconomic functions
  • Territorial disparities
  • Entropy
  • Indicators
  • Southern Europe