Spatial structure and mobility patterns:;towards a taxonomy of the Italian urban systems
Urban spatial organization has become a wide field of research in the last years, since it is thought to be an important determinant of the city's performance, from many points of view. Nevertheless, Italian urban spatial organization has not been studied in depth yet and a general description of the Italian urban territory is lacking. The aim of this work is to build a taxonomy of the Italian cities - where the latter are conceptualised as agglomeration of contiguous municipalities - on the basis of their spatial organization features and of their patterns of commuting-to-work mobility. To reach this aim, three preliminary steps had to be carried out. First of all, the major Italian urban systems have been identified following a functional approach that is based on the principle of maximum self-containment of commuters' flows, as allowed by Local Labour Systems (LLSs). Secondly, original indicators have been built to gain a better understanding of cities' spatial organization and of their patterns of mobility. Thirdly, the relation between these two dimensions has been investigated through a multivariate statistical analysis. The results of the analysis show that spatial organization - especially urban dispersion - and mobility patterns are closely related and cities might be aggregated in five groups, ranging from the most compact and transit-oriented cities to the most dispersed and car-oriented ones.
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