Evolution of urban scaling: evidence from Brazil

Por • 12 jul, 2018 • Sección: sociologia

Joao Meirelles, Camilo Rodrigues Neto, Fernando Fagundes Ferreira, Fabiano Lemes Ribeiro, Claudia Rebeca Binder

Abstract: During the last years, the new science of cities has been established as a fertile quantitative approach to systematically understand the urban phenomena. One of its main pillars is the proposition that urban systems display universal scaling behavior regarding socioeconomic, infrastructural and individual needs variables. This paper discusses the extension of the universality proposition by testing it against a broad range of urban metrics in a developing country urban system. We present an exploration of the scaling exponents for over 60 variables for the Brazilian urban system. As Brazilian municipalities can deviate significantly from urban settlements, functional cities were selected based on a systematic density cut-off procedure and the scaling exponents were estimated for this new subset of cities. To validate our findings we compared the results for overlaying variables with other studies based on alternative methods. It was found that the analyzed socioeconomic variables follow a superlinear scaling relationship with the population size, and most of the infrastructure and individual needs variables follow expected sublinear and linear scaling, respectively. However, some infrastructural and individual needs variables deviated from their expected regimes, challenging the universality hypothesis of urban scaling. We propose that these deviations are a product of top-down decisions/policies. Our analysis spreads over a time-range of 10 years, what is not enough to draw conclusive observations, nevertheless we found hints that the scaling exponent of these variables are evolving towards the expected scaling regime, indicating that the deviations might be temporally constrained and that the urban systems might eventually reach the expected scaling regime.

arXiv:1807.02292v1 [physics.soc-ph]

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