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Applying distributional approaches to understand patterns of urban differentiation

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Urban scaling analysis has introduced a new scientific paradigm to the study of cities. With it, the notions of size, heterogeneity and structure have taken a leading role. These notions

Urban scaling analysis has introduced a new scientific paradigm to the study of cities. With it, the notions of size, heterogeneity and structure have taken a leading role. These notions are assumed to be behind the causes for why cities differ from one another, sometimes wildly. However, the mechanisms by which size, heterogeneity and structure shape the general statistical patterns that describe urban economic output are still unclear. Given the rapid rate of urbanization around the globe, we need precise and formal mathematical understandings of these matters. In this context, I perform in this dissertation probabilistic, distributional and computational explorations of (i) how the broadness, or narrowness, of the distribution of individual productivities within cities determines what and how we measure urban systemic output, (ii) how urban scaling may be expressed as a statistical statement when urban metrics display strong stochasticity, (iii) how the processes of aggregation constrain the variability of total urban output, and (iv) how the structure of urban skills diversification within cities induces a multiplicative process in the production of urban output.

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  • 2014

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Exploring definitional, spatial, and temporal issues associated with the creative class and related variations in creative centers

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There are many different approaches to the analysis of regional economic growth potential. One of the more recent is the theory of the creative class, and its impact on creative

There are many different approaches to the analysis of regional economic growth potential. One of the more recent is the theory of the creative class, and its impact on creative centers. Much of the criticism surrounding this theory is in how the creative class is defined and measured. The goal of this thesis is to explore alternate definitions to better understand how these variations impact the ranking of creative centers as well as their location through space and time. This is important given the proliferation of rankings as a benchmarking tool for economic development efforts. In order to test the sensitivity that the creative class has to definitional changes, a new set of rankings of creative centers are provided based on an alternate definition of creative employment, and compared to Richard Florida's original rankings. Findings show that most cities are not substantially affected by the alternate definitions derived in this study. However, it is found that particular cities do show sensitivity to comparisons made to Florida's definition, with the same cities experiencing greater variations in rank over time.

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  • 2014