Processes of urban transformation

A typology based on urbanity, centrality and on territories’ population growth



urban transformation, urbanity, centrality, counterurbanization, suburbanization, urban shrinkage, rural decline


Urban transformations are some of most frequently studied phenomena in regional and urban sciences. But the complexity and diversity of these processes, and their manifestations at different scales, have challenged their classification and identification. This article contributes to this subject by proposing a typology of urban transformations for mainland Portugal based on three dimensions – urbanity, centrality, and population growth. Urbanity refers to the degree of urbanization of a given area, considering population density and land use variables. Centrality refers to the position of an area in the broader urban system and is assessed through variables that express its functional hierarchy. Population growth is assessed by the change of resident population from one period to the another. This study is based on applying methods for dimensionality reduction (principal component analysis) and cluster analysis to geographic data, making it possible to associate different territorial units (parishes) with urban transformation processes.


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