Metropolitan regions in Europe experienced intense demographic change from accelerated population expansion sustained by high fertility and immigration to zero (or negative) growth and aging. Such transformations are particularly complex in Southern Europe and lead to a shift from the impressive urban growth driven by industrialization to a more recent de-concentration of inner cities and scattered metropolitan expansion. Based on long-term population data, the present study assumes that urban expansion and demographic trends in Southern Europe no longer follow sequential phases of growth and decline, being characterized by non-linear urban expansion and distinctive demographic trends. Such hypothesis was tested considering a complete urban cycle and the associated population trends over a sufficiently long time interval (1848–2011) in metropolitan Athens, Greece. Population increase was assessed through the analysis of long-term census data made available on a district scale. Such analysis provided information on the spatial distribution of resident population and allowed identification of multiple expansion waves only partly aligned with predictions of the urban cycle model. The complex interplay between long-term fertility-mortality dynamics and short-term migration trends in Athens justifies deviations from model’s predictions. A long-term analysis of population trends at local scale contributes to re-contextualize urban cycles within the (more general) debate on demographic transitions, evidencing together the multi-scalar influence of population dynamics on metropolitan expansion and the importance of a historical analysis of population growth from the beginning of the modern urban experience.

Urban Cycles and Long-Term Population Trends in a Southern European City: A Demographic Outlook

Benassi F.;
2020

Abstract

Metropolitan regions in Europe experienced intense demographic change from accelerated population expansion sustained by high fertility and immigration to zero (or negative) growth and aging. Such transformations are particularly complex in Southern Europe and lead to a shift from the impressive urban growth driven by industrialization to a more recent de-concentration of inner cities and scattered metropolitan expansion. Based on long-term population data, the present study assumes that urban expansion and demographic trends in Southern Europe no longer follow sequential phases of growth and decline, being characterized by non-linear urban expansion and distinctive demographic trends. Such hypothesis was tested considering a complete urban cycle and the associated population trends over a sufficiently long time interval (1848–2011) in metropolitan Athens, Greece. Population increase was assessed through the analysis of long-term census data made available on a district scale. Such analysis provided information on the spatial distribution of resident population and allowed identification of multiple expansion waves only partly aligned with predictions of the urban cycle model. The complex interplay between long-term fertility-mortality dynamics and short-term migration trends in Athens justifies deviations from model’s predictions. A long-term analysis of population trends at local scale contributes to re-contextualize urban cycles within the (more general) debate on demographic transitions, evidencing together the multi-scalar influence of population dynamics on metropolitan expansion and the importance of a historical analysis of population growth from the beginning of the modern urban experience.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/896960
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