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ERIC Number: ED537341
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 283
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2671-2997-0
A Multi-Scale Comparative Study of Shape and Sprawl in Metropolitan Regions of the United States
Kugler, Tracy A.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Oregon State University
This dissertation constitutes a multi-scale quantitative and qualitative investigation of patterns of urban development in metropolitan regions of the United States. This work has generated a comprehensive data set on spatial patterns of metropolitan development in the U.S. and an approach to the study of such patterns that can be used to further explore the causes and consequences of the shape and character of metropolitan regions. The research focuses on describing and measuring spatial patterns of development at neighborhood and metropolitan regional scales and exploring factors that have helped shape those patterns. While comprehensive testing of hypotheses related to the causes and consequences of metropolitan development patterns is beyond the scope of the dissertation, several hypotheses regarding factors influencing development are suggested, and the rich data set generated by this work lays the groundwork for testing these and other hypotheses. The metropolitan region, consisting of a central city, its suburbs, and the surrounding exurban area, is the primary focal scale of this research. To capture this area of interest, a Metropolitan Region (MR) was defined corresponding to each of 353 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (all MSAs with year 2000 populations between 50,000 and 9 million, except Miami and Baltimore, for which some data were unavailable). Both subjective visual categorization and objective clustering methods were applied to the 353 MRs to generate a typology capturing the range of metropolitan regional shapes in the U.S. The typology confirms the existence of circular and lobed forms described in major theories of urban growth and reveals hybrids and variations of circular, lobed, and polycentric shapes. The national distribution of regional shapes suggests the influence of physical setting and city system context, with linear shapes appearing along mountain ranges and valleys, semi-circular shapes along coastlines, circular shapes in plains, and more complex shapes in areas with a higher concentration of metropolitan regions. Regression algorithms were used to develop an index of sprawl that is based on neighborhood-scale street network, mix of uses, and housing homogeneity data and can be consistently calculated throughout U.S. metropolitan regions. The national distribution of aggregated metropolitan regional sprawl indices reveals the highest degrees of sprawl occurring in the mid-Atlantic and lowest degrees among isolated metropolitan regions in the interior West. Preliminary results connecting the sprawl index to metropolitan regional-scale shapes suggest that monocentric round regions may not necessarily be the least sprawling. Finally, case studies were conducted to investigate factors affecting the influence of planning and shaping development in two mid-sized metropolitan regions. The case studies provide the basis for a general framework that identifies key factors influencing patterns of development in metropolitan regions across the country. The findings from this initial empirical work and the two case studies indicate that spatial patterns of metropolitan development are strongly influenced by regions' physical, legal, historical, city system, economic and cultural context, all of which affect the interactions among and decisions made by planners, developers, and residents that ultimately produce the pattern of the built environment. This data-rich quantitative approach and explicit attention to scale complement the theoretical and qualitative approach of much of the previous work on patterns of metropolitan development. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A