Regional density functions and regional boundaries

The investigation was concerned with exploring the use of the density function as a means for examining the spatial structure of a region. For the purposes of the study the region was taken to be a nodal region, having the dimension of a city-region.  Drawing extensively on the work of the American demographer, Donald Bogue, attention was focused on the individual region, where the inverse power function offered a better characterisation of regional spatial structure than the negative exponential function, the form commonly associated with conditions in the single city. Attention was then given to a multi-region setting, and to how the density function was able to cast light on the disaggregation of economic space, particularly with respect to the nature of regional boundaries. An underlying premise of the study was that the density-function approach represents a further method of regionalisation, as well as a benchmark, against which other methods may be compared.

During the course of the investigation, it became apparent that there existed another type of density function. Whereas the density function being used could be considered a "marginal density function", the other type of function might be described as an "average density function". Work was undertaken on a comparison of the two types of function, and how these were related. This involved an application to the Glasgow metropolitan area.



October 2009 to date


Parr, J. B. and Holden, D. (2013) The regional density function and the definition of regional boundaries (submitted).

Parr, J. B. and Holden, D. (2013) A note on the average density function in urban analysis, Urban Studies, 50 (forthcoming).