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Open AccessArticle

Population Trends and Urbanization: Simulating Density Effects Using a Local Regression Approach

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Department of Economic and Social Science, Polytechnic University of Marche, Piazza Martelli 8, I-60121 Ancona, Italy
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Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), Viale Santa Margherita 80, I-52100 Arezzo, Italy
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Department of Economics and Law, University of Macerata, Via Armaroli 43, I-62100 Macerata, Italy
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Department of Sociology, University of the Aegean, EL-81100 Mytilene, Greece
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Physical Geography, Trier University, 54286 Trier, Germany
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Soil Erosion and Degradation Research Group, Department of Geography, University of Valencia, 46010 Valencia, Spain
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Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), Piazza G. Marconi 44, I-00144 Rome, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9(7), 454; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi9070454
Received: 23 June 2020 / Revised: 15 July 2020 / Accepted: 17 July 2020 / Published: 18 July 2020
Density-dependent population growth regulates long-term urban expansion and shapes distinctive socioeconomic trends. Despite a marked heterogeneity in the spatial distribution of the resident population, Mediterranean European countries are considered more homogeneous than countries in other European regions as far as settlement structure and processes of metropolitan growth are concerned. However, rising socioeconomic inequalities among Southern European regions reflect latent demographic and territorial transformations that require further investigation. An integrated assessment of the spatio-temporal distribution of resident populations in more than 1000 municipalities (1961–2011) was carried out in this study to characterize density-dependent processes of metropolitan growth in Greece. Using geographically weighted regressions, the results of our study identified distinctive local relationships between population density and growth rates over time. Our results demonstrate that demographic growth rates were non-linearly correlated with other variables, such as population density, with positive and negative impacts during the first (1961–1971) and the last (2001–2011) observation decade, respectively. These findings outline a progressive shift over time from density-dependent processes of population growth, reflecting a rapid development of large metropolitan regions (Athens, Thessaloniki) in the 1960s, to density-dependent processes more evident in medium-sized cities and accessible rural regions in the 2000s. Density-independent processes of population growth have been detected in the intermediate study period (1971–2001). This work finally discusses how a long-term analysis of demographic growth, testing for density-dependent mechanisms, may clarify the intrinsic role of population concentration and dispersion in different phases of the metropolitan cycle in Mediterranean Europe. View Full-Text
Keywords: density-dependent population growth; urban indicators; metropolitan cycles; socioeconomic change; Greece density-dependent population growth; urban indicators; metropolitan cycles; socioeconomic change; Greece
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MDPI and ACS Style

Polinesi, G.; Recchioni, M.C.; Turco, R.; Salvati, L.; Rontos, K.; Rodrigo-Comino, J.; Benassi, F. Population Trends and Urbanization: Simulating Density Effects Using a Local Regression Approach. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2020, 9, 454. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi9070454

AMA Style

Polinesi G, Recchioni MC, Turco R, Salvati L, Rontos K, Rodrigo-Comino J, Benassi F. Population Trends and Urbanization: Simulating Density Effects Using a Local Regression Approach. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. 2020; 9(7):454. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi9070454

Chicago/Turabian Style

Polinesi, Gloria; Recchioni, Maria C.; Turco, Rosario; Salvati, Luca; Rontos, Kostas; Rodrigo-Comino, Jesús; Benassi, Federico. 2020. "Population Trends and Urbanization: Simulating Density Effects Using a Local Regression Approach" ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 9, no. 7: 454. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi9070454

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