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Evolution of urban forms observed from space

Authors
  • Chen, Haohui1, 2
  • Kryvasheyeu, Yury1, 2
  • Xu, Weipan3
  • Huang, Yaofu3
  • Deng, Jiayi3
  • Ren, Siru3
  • Li, Xun3
  • Rahwan, Iyad4, 5
  • Cebrian, Manuel1, 4, 5
  • 1 Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Melbourne, Australia , Melbourne (Australia)
  • 2 Monash University, Melbourne, Australia , Melbourne (Australia)
  • 3 Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China , Guangzhou (China)
  • 4 Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany , Berlin (Germany)
  • 5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA , Cambridge (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
EPJ Data Science
Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication Date
May 19, 2021
Volume
10
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1140/epjds/s13688-021-00283-w
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Multiple driving forces shape cities. These forces include the costs of transporting goods and people, the types of predominant local industries, and the policies that govern urban planning. Here, we examine how agglomeration and dispersion change with increasing population and population density. We study the patterns in the evolution of urban forms and analyze the differences between developed and developing countries. We analyze agglomeration across 233 European and 258 Chinese cities using nighttime luminosity data. We find a universal inverted U-shape curve for the agglomeration metric (Lasym index). Cities attain their maximum agglomeration level at an intermediate density, above which dispersion increases. Our findings may guide strategic urban planning for the timely adoption of appropriate development policies.

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