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Global and local spatial indices of urban segregation

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Urban segregation has received increasing attention in the literature due to the negative impacts that it has on urban populations. Indices of urban segregation are useful instruments for understanding the problem as well as for setting up public policies. The usefulness of spatial segregation indices depends on their ability to account for the spatial arrangement of population and to show how segregation varies across the city. This paper proposes global spatial indices of segregation that capture interaction among population groups at different scales. We also decompose the global indices to obtain local spatial indices of segregation, which enable visualization and exploration of segregation patterns. We propose the use of statistical tests to determine the significance of the indices. The proposed indices are illustrated using an artificial dataset and a case study of socio-economic segregation in São José dos Campos (SP, Brazil).

Keywords: Global and local indices; Spatial segregation indices; Urban segregation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: INPE - Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, DPI - Divisão de Processamento de Imagens, 12227-001, São José dos Campos (SP), Brazil 2: Martin-Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Institut für Geographie, 06120, Halle (Saale), Germany

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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