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Scaling Beyond Cities

Prieto Curiel, R; Cabrera-Arnau, C; Bishop, SR; (2022) Scaling Beyond Cities. Frontiers in Physics , 10 , Article 858307. 10.3389/fphy.2022.858307. Green open access

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City population size is a crucial measure when trying to understand urban life. Many socio-economic indicators scale superlinearly with city size, whilst some infrastructure indicators scale sublinearly with city size. However, the impact of size also extends beyond the city’s limits. Here, we analyse the scaling behaviour of cities beyond their boundaries by considering the emergence and growth of nearby cities. Based on an urban network from African continental cities, we construct an algorithm to create the region of influence of cities. The number of cities and the population within a region of influence are then analysed in the context of urban scaling. Our results are compared against a random permutation of the network, showing that the observed scaling power of cities to enhance the emergence and growth of cities is not the result of randomness. By altering the radius of influence of cities, we observe three regimes. Large cities tend to be surrounded by many small towns for small distances. For medium distances (above 114 km), large cities are surrounded by many other cities containing large populations. Large cities boost urban emergence and growth (even more than 190 km away), but their scaling power decays with distance.

Type: Article
Title: Scaling Beyond Cities
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fphy.2022.858307
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fphy.2022.858307
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 Prieto Curiel, Cabrera-Arnau and Bishop. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: scaling, urban network, Africa, city size, emergence, growth
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10148391
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