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The Physical and Socio-Economic Composition of Urban Areas

University of Bristol, United Kingdom

Key words: Data Integration, Urban, Zone Heterogeneity, Lifestyles, Address-Point

New urban data sources provide georeferencing to hitherto unmatched levels of precision. In the UK, the Ordnance Survey's Address-Point product provides sub-metre precision National Grid references for each mail delivery point. Using these data, it is possible to devise a range of new, disaggregate measures of space-filling, and hence devise measures of the sustainability of different urban forms and configurations. Yet this tells only part of the story, and more detailed understanding of the functioning of urban settlements requires matching of disaggregate locational references with aspatial attribute information. In this context, we have argued elsewhere (Longley and Harris, 1999) that 'lifestyles' market research information can be used to produce pertinent and up-to-date measures of urban residence and activity patterns.

For a study region comprising the City and County of Bristol, we will attempt to integrate Address-Point and lifestyle data, and thence produce fine scale measures of the physical and socio-economic composition. Disaggregation of urban populations according to a range of pertinent behavioural indicators will be attempted. We will then begin to assess the outline implications of such hybrid data sets for the creation of new, fine scale models of transportation and land use.


Longley, P.A. and Harris, R. J. 1999. Towards a new digital data infrastructure for urban analysis and modelling. Environment and Planning B 26: 855-78