Density and Dispersion: The Co-Development of Land use and Rail in London

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Density and Dispersion: The Co-Development of Land use and Rail in London

Published Date

2008

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Oxford University Press

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Article

Abstract

his paper examines the changes that occurred in the rail network and density of population in London during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It aims to disentangle the 'chicken and egg' problem of which came first, network or land development, through a set of statistical analyses using clearly distinguishing events by order. Using a panel of data representing the 33 boroughs of London over each decade from 1871 to 2001, the research finds that there is a positive feedback effect between population density and network density. Additional rail stations (either underground or surface) are positive factors leading to subsequent increases in population in the suburbs of London, while additional population density is a subsequent factor in deploying more rail. These effects differ in central London, where the additional accessibility produced by rail led to commercial development and led to a depopulation. There are also few differences in the effects associated with surface rail stations and underground stations, as the underground was able to get into central London in a way that surface rail could not. However the two networks were weak (and statistically insignificant) substitutes for each other in the suburbs, but the density of surface rail stations was a complement to the Underground in the center, though not vice versa.

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UK Economic and Social Research Council, National Science Foundation

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http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1093/jeg/lbm038

Previously Published Citation

Levinson, David (2008) Density and Dispersion: The Co-Development of Land use and Rail in London. Journal of Economic Geography 8(1) 55-57.

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