Crossing boundaries: Mapping spatial dynamics of urban phenomena at micro scale to support urban management in the Amsterdam urban region

Els Veldhuizen, K. Pfeffer

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Abstract

Maps are widely used to provide urban managers with information on critical urban issues such as deprivation, unemployment, and segregation. Although administrative boundaries have always played an important role in map making, they are not meaningful for revealing the spatial dynamics of urban phenomena that vary within wards, cross ward boundaries and do not necessarily stop at the city boundary. Recently, very detailed (spatial) data have become available providing opportunities for new types of urban mapping. To process these data into meaningful maps, three aspects are important. First, information on maps should be produced at a spatial scale that is relevant for a particular urban phenomenon. Second, to reveal and monitor urban dynamics, maps of a phenomenon at different moments in time are needed. Finally, to accommodate access to these maps for potential users without (much) expertise in mapping, they should be provided through an easy to use tool. The Regional Monitor Amsterdam (RMA), an online GIS application, deals with these aspects. The purposes of this paper are to explain the mapping methodology adopted in the RMA and to illustrate the usefulness of the tool in urban management. This methodology goes beyond administrative mapping areas with fixed boundaries by introducing 'data-driven dynamic geographies'. We argue that this methodology produces relevant information by recognizing the scale at which urban phenomena occur. The monitoring tool assists in answering policy questions by easy access to relevant maps for different moments in time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalBELGEO
Volume2016
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Amsterdam
  • GIS
  • Micro scale
  • Urban monitoring
  • ITC-HYBRID

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