The economic and political situation of cities has shifted in recent years in light of rapid growth amidst infrastructure decline, the suburbanization of poverty and inner city revitalization. At the same time, the way that data are used to understand urban systems has changed dramatically. Urban Analytics offers a field-defining look at the challenges and opportunities of using new and emerging data to study contemporary and future cities through methods including GIS, Remote Sensing, Big Data and Geodemographics. Written in an accessible style and packed with illustrations and interviews from key urban analysts, this is a groundbreaking new textbook for students of urban planning, urban design, geography, and the information sciences.

Differences within Cities

Differences within Cities

Learning Objectives

By the end of this chapter students will understand the following:

  • There are two main approaches to urban analytics: the variable and contextual paradigms.
  • Composite indicators have a history of use within cities.
  • There are differences between univariate and multivariate indices and their application.
  • Geodemographic classifications and methods can be used to summarize population and built environment characteristics.

Urban Variables and Contexts

Contexts are critically important to our lives within cities. The term “context” refers holistically to the social, environmental, and economic settings within which we live our lives. Contexts evolve over multiple time scales; slow long term changes happen over the course of your life and fast cyclic changes occur throughout the day. From birth, context has wide-ranging implications on our health and ...

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