Spatial Analysis & Data Visualization @ SFSU

Data Analysis Module

Mapping Global Cities: GIS Methods in Urban Analysis

Mapping Global Cities cover

The main argument of the book is that spatial thinking and analysis are essential for intelligent urban policymaking in a global world. Without a spatial and analytical understanding of how cities are organized and how residential patterns are shaped as a result of population and employment changes, we risk designing urban plans and policies that are unrealistic at best, and exclusionary for newcomers at worst. In this book, Pamuk shows how geographic information systems (GIS) can be usefully applied to new urban planning challenges in “global” metropolitan regions and “megacities,” especially those where rapid demographic transformations are primarily responsible for recent rapid growth. The book’s main premise is that the analysis of relevant data with GIS can provide a powerful new perspective in addressing urban research and policy questions, and holds the potential to deepen our collective understanding and efforts in solving important urban policy problems.

The types of localities that Pamuk is concerned with in this book—global metropolitan regions—have volatile population growth trajectories largely caused by migration, especially international migration patterns. The main questions of the book are: What spatial commonalities and differences are there around the world where immigrants locate in major metropolitan areas? Where do immigrants locate in specific global metropolitan regions? What is the level of concentration and density of different immigrant groups in these areas? Are there commonalities in immigrant clustering patterns in global/world cities? Are these patterns similar when analyzed at different scales? What is the incidence of traditional ethnic enclaves (e.g., Chinatowns in urban core areas of the United States)? What is the incidence of contemporary ethnic communities in the suburbs? How is the concentration of immigrants in certain areas in metropolitan regions related to housing and labor market dynamics? What processes seem to explain the formation, change, and persistence of ethnic enclaves and communities in global cities?

Other important questions Pamuk focuses on in this book include: Are poor children located disproportionately in certain areas of urban core areas rather than others? How can the isolation of poor families in high-poverty metropolitan neighborhoods be eradicated? What public policies are necessary to increase access of poor families with children to social services such as child-care and early childhood education?

The book is organized into three parts. Part I provides an overview of core GIS concepts that are used in specific public policy applications and in analyzing research questions later in the book—in parts II and III. The intended audience is global in outlook with special interest in understanding the evolution of contemporary cities and regions in the context of late twentieth and early twenty-first century globalization. An important element of this framework has to do with international migration movements and resulting location of immigrants in certain global city-regions and in certain areas (suburbs and central cities) in these regions. As contemporary metropolitan areas fundamentally change, spatial analysis with GIS provides us with a powerful new perspective in empirically and visually analyzing these changes.

Building on the foundation developed in part I (including key GIS concepts and data), the next two sections of the book focus on applications of GIS to deal with specific public policy and research questions. Part II deals with urban planning and social service delivery. Part III addresses locating immigrant clusters in global/world cities and an analysis of housing conditions of immigrants.

The book includes a CD-ROM with five hands-on exercises and a self-directed project that works with the data used to create most of the maps in this book. These exercises are written to help users walk through the key steps to do spatial analyses with vector and raster data using ArcGIS software. These are:

1. Thematic mapping with Brazil census data
2. Spatializing aspatial data using World Bank’s housing indicators
3. Analyzing social service delivery —Vector analysis
4. Analyzing social service delivery – Raster analysis
5. Analysis of China-born clusters in San Francisco
6. Self-directed project

Mapping Global Cities: GIS Methods in Urban Analysis chapters


PART I – Exploring global metropolitan regions with GIS

Chapter 1 – Using GIS to analyze cities in a global world

Chapter 2 – Spatial data

PART II – Urban planning and policy applications with GIS

Chapter 3 – Urban planning applications of GIS in local government

Chapter 4 – GIS analysis in planning social service delivery

PART III – Analyzing spatial patterns in metropolitan areas with GIS

Chapter 5 – Locating immigrant clusters with census data

Chapter 6 – Comparing immigrant clustering patterns across metropolitan areas


Exercise description