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Article

Analyzing Links between Spatio-Temporal Metrics of Built-Up Areas and Socio-Economic Indicators on a Semi-Global Scale

1
Geo-Environmental Cartography and Remote Sensing Group, Department of Cartographic Engineering, Geodesy and Photogrammetry, Universitat Politècnica de València, Camí de Vera, s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
2
German Aerospace Center (DLR), German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD), Münchner Str. 20, 82234 Wessling, Germany
3
Institute for Geography and Geology, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, 97074 Würzburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(7), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi9070436
Received: 9 June 2020 / Revised: 3 July 2020 / Accepted: 9 July 2020 / Published: 11 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geodata Science and Spatial Analysis in Urban Studies)
Manifold socio-economic processes shape the built and natural elements in urban areas. They thus influence both the living environment of urban dwellers and sustainability in many dimensions. Monitoring the development of the urban fabric and its relationships with socio-economic and environmental processes will help to elucidate their linkages and, thus, aid in the development of new strategies for more sustainable development. In this study, we identified empirical and significant relationships between income, inequality, GDP, air pollution and employment indicators and their change over time with the spatial organization of the built and natural elements in functional urban areas. We were able to demonstrate this in 32 countries using spatio-temporal metrics, using geoinformation from databases available worldwide. We employed random forest regression, and we were able to explain 32% to 68% of the variability of socio-economic variables. This confirms that spatial patterns and their change are linked to socio-economic indicators. We also identified the spatio-temporal metrics that were more relevant in the models: we found that urban compactness, concentration degree, the dispersion index, the densification of built-up growth, accessibility and land-use/land-cover density and change could be used as proxies for some socio-economic indicators. This study is a first and fundamental step for the identification of such relationships at a global scale. The proposed methodology is highly versatile, the inclusion of new datasets is straightforward, and the increasing availability of multi-temporal geospatial and socio-economic databases is expected to empirically boost the study of these relationships from a multi-temporal perspective in the near future. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban growth; socio-economic variables; spatio-temporal metrics; global analysis; IndiFrag; GHSL; OECD urban growth; socio-economic variables; spatio-temporal metrics; global analysis; IndiFrag; GHSL; OECD
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    Doi: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.12554531.v1
    Link: https://www.mdpi.com/2220-9964/9/7/436/s1
    Description: The following are available online at https://www.mdpi.com/2220-9964/9/7/436/s1. Table S1. Availability and values of socio-economic variables and geospatial databases by functional urban area (FUA). Figure S1 to Figure S6: Boxplots of relevant spatio-temporal metrics sorted according to their importance per socio-economic variable. The data and codes that support the findings of this study are available on figshare, DOI: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.12554531.v1.
MDPI and ACS Style

Sapena, M.; Ruiz, L.A.; Taubenböck, H. Analyzing Links between Spatio-Temporal Metrics of Built-Up Areas and Socio-Economic Indicators on a Semi-Global Scale. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9, 436. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi9070436

AMA Style

Sapena M, Ruiz LA, Taubenböck H. Analyzing Links between Spatio-Temporal Metrics of Built-Up Areas and Socio-Economic Indicators on a Semi-Global Scale. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 2020; 9(7):436. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi9070436

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sapena, Marta, Luis A. Ruiz, and Hannes Taubenböck. 2020. "Analyzing Links between Spatio-Temporal Metrics of Built-Up Areas and Socio-Economic Indicators on a Semi-Global Scale" ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 9, no. 7: 436. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi9070436

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