The path-dependency of low-income neighbourhood trajectories : an approach for analysing neighbourhood change
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The gap between wealthy and disadvantaged neighbourhoods seems to be increasing in many contemporary Western cities. Most studies of neighbourhood change focus on specific case-studies of neighbourhood downgrading or gentrification. Studies investigating socio-spatial polarisation in larger urban areas often compare neighbourhoods at two points in time, neglecting the underlying dynamic character of neighbourhoods. In the current literature, the question if neighbourhoods with similar characteristics experience similar changes over time remains unanswered. As a result, it is unclear why some neighbourhoods appear to be more prone to change than others. In this paper, we propose a dual approach for analysing neighbourhood change. We argue that researchers should both adopt a long-term perspective (20–40 years), because significant changes are only visible after longer periods of time, and focus on more detailed neighbourhood trajectories to understand how neighbourhood change is interrelated with context. Focussing on Dutch neighbourhoods over the period 1971–2013, we analyse the role of physical characteristics on low-income neighbourhood trajectories using an innovative visualisation technique. A tree-structured discrepancy analysis allows for the visualisation of complete neighbourhood pathways, enabling the analysis of complex, contextualised patterns of change. We find that the original quality of neighbourhoods and dwellings seems to be an important predictor for future neighbourhood trajectories, indicating a high level of path-dependency.
Zwiers , M , Kleinhans , R & Van Ham , M 2017 , ' The path-dependency of low-income neighbourhood trajectories : an approach for analysing neighbourhood change ' Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy , vol 10 , no. 3 , pp. 363-380 . DOI: 10.1007/s12061-016-9189-z
Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy
© The Author(s) 2016. This is an Open Access article, which is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program (FP/2007-2013) / ERC Grant Agreement n. 615159 (ERC Consolidator Grant DEPRIVEDHOODS, Socio-spatial inequality, deprived neighbourhoods, and neighbourhood effects) and from the Marie Curie program under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program (FP/2007-2013) / Career Integration Grant n. PCIG10-GA-2011-303728 (CIG Grant NBHCHOICE, Neighbourhood choice, neighbourhood sorting, and neighbourhood effects).
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