Long run urban analysis using property records: A methodological case study of land use change
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© 2016, © Urban Studies Journal Limited 2016. This paper demonstrates the contribution that historical property records can make to our understanding of long run urban change. We use a case study of two streets from the suburb of Carlton in Melbourne, Australia between 1870 and 1970. The property records form a panel database that can be interrogated using standard modelling techniques. These data are used to analyse change in the built environment over time, and identify the factors that may be influencing such change. With the assembled data we track built form, land value, ownership and land use over 100 years. We find that stability characterises the built environment over lengthy periods, but when change occurs it does so in bursts, rather than incrementally. Furthermore, these bursts of change are unevenly spread across our two case study streets, despite their proximity. The streetscape’s primary built material is the key factor shaping geographical patterns of land use change in the case study area.
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