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Innovative measurement of spatial segregation: Comparative evidence from Hong Kong and San Francisco


The spatial distribution of households of different socioeconomic groups in urban areas has drawn longstanding attention from scholars because residential location patterns have important impacts on social outcomes and the economic efficiency of cities. Recent comparative work on this topic has yielded some insight into the causes and consequences of segregation patterns, but much of this comparison is indirect. An explicitly spatial version of the entropy index has recently been developed that facilitates comparison, as it allows for the disaggregation of segregation levels by scale and income (Reardon and O'Sullivan, 2004; Reardon, 2009; Reardon and Bischoff, 2011). This paper applies these new measurement techniques to two metropolises; Hong Kong and San Francisco. Although overall segregation levels are similar, the shape of the segregation profile across geographic scales and the income distribution is quite different. The paper also includes a script for calculating spatial ordinal segregation indices in ArcGIS. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

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