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Cityscape: Volume 11 Number 1: Chapter 8


Lessons for the United States From Asian Nations

Volume 11 Number 1

A Note on Data Preparation Procedures for a Nationwide Analysis of Urban Form and Settlement Patterns

Robert N. Renner
Selma Lewis
John I. Carruthers
Gerrit-Jan Knaap

Data Shop

Data Shop, a department of Cityscape, presents short articles or notes on the uses of data in housing and urban research. Through this department, PD&R introduces readers to new and overlooked data sources and to improved techniques in using well-known data. The emphasis is on sources and methods that analysts can use in their own work. Researchers often run into knotty data problems involving data interpretation or manipulation that must be solved before a project can proceed, but they seldom get to focus in detail on the solutions to such problems. If you have an idea for an applied, data-centric note of no more than 3,000 words, please send a one-paragraph abstract to for consideration.

This note is a companion to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Working Papers REP 08-03 and REP 09-03 and, as such, it reiterates some of the discussion contained in those two papers. It expressly describes work that is in progress, which may, and indeed likely will, evolve as the projects move forward. The opinions expressed in this note are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the U.S. government at large.


This note outlines in detail the process of preparing data used in studying patterns of urbanization across the United States, using spatial hazard models—a class of durational models often employed in analyzing lifecycles. The note provides a brief overview of spatial hazard models and their application in the analysis of urbanization patterns and continues to describe the collection and processing of settlement point patterns needed for the analysis. Analyzed at the census block group level, data come from (1) a nationwide count of housing units at the census block level in 2006, which the Census Bureau provided to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; and (2) Census Summary File 3 from the 2000 Census of the population.


image of city buildings