An integrated GIS-spatial analysis of Atlanta's urban structure and urban space
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This is an interdisciplinary study to examine Atlanta’s urban structure and urban space by integrating GIS and spatial analysis. This dissertation is comprised of three separated topics. First, in terms of urban structure, the urban land use/land cover structures from 1990 to 2000 are analyzed. In order to get classified land use/land cover images, remotely sensed imagery and remote sensing technology are also employed. The second topic is to analyze urban poverty by applying spatial regression models. Third, in terms of urban space, the spatial distributions of population, race, and income are analyzed. During the whole process, GIS techniques and spatial statistics cooperate with each other so that some conclusions are derived. Specifically, this dissertation (1) adopts a hybrid approach to classify land use/land cover in Atlanta metropolitan area; (2) based on classified images, uses spatial metrics and spatial statistics to test if Atlanta’s urban structure was more fragmented and had a random or quasi-random increase during the 1990s; (3) utilizes a series of spatial regression models to identify the factors and their contributions to urban poverty; and (4) uses surface maps, spatial cumulative distribution function (SCDF), and Kolmogorov-Smirnov (K-S) test to investigate urban space in terms of the spatial distributions of total population, Whites, Blacks, Asians, and the median household income. The classified images show that urban growth of the Atlanta metropolitan area consumed large amount of vegetative lands since forest and grassland/pasture/cropland both decreases in areas. Spatial metrics indicate the urban structure in the Atlanta metropolitan area was more fragmented during the 1990s. By Ripley’s K-function and spatial Poisson point process model, the argument of random or quasi-random urban growth is not supported. By making comparison with conventional multivariate regression model, the spatial regression models are found to have higher R and better incorporate spatial dependence. While the total population and whites were more unevenly distributed, blacks had a process of diverse distribution. SCDF of the median household income shows that the urban space of income was more polarized because low-income poor were more aggregated and the affluent are still segregated.
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