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

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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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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).

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