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Journal Articles Journal of Physics: Complexity Year : 2020

Revisiting the coupling between accessibility and population growth


The coupling between population growth and transport accessibility has been an elusive problem for more than 60 years now. Due to the lack of theoretical foundations, most of the studies that considered how the evolution of transportation networks impacts the population growth are based on regression analysis in order to identify relevant variables. The recent availability of large amounts of data allows us to envision the construction of new approaches for understanding this coupling between transport and population growth. Here, we use a detailed dataset for about 36000 municipalities in France from 1968 until now. In the case of large urban areas such as Paris, we show that growth rate statistical variations decay in time and display a trend towards homogeneization where local aspects are less relevant. We also show that growth rate differences due to accessibility are very small and can mostly be observed for cities that experienced very large accessibility variations. This suggests that the relevant variable for explaining growth rate variations is not the accessibility but its temporal variation. We propose a model that integrates the stochastic internal variation of the municipalitie's population and an inter-urban migration term that we show to be proportional to the accessibility variation and has a limited time duration. This model provides a simple theoretical framework that allows to go beyond econometric studies and sheds a new light on the impact of transportation modes on city growth.
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cea-02564095 , version 1 (05-05-2020)





Valerio Volpati, Marc Barthelemy. Revisiting the coupling between accessibility and population growth. Journal of Physics: Complexity, 2020, 2020 (1), pp.025002. ⟨10.1088/2632-072X/ab97a7⟩. ⟨cea-02564095⟩
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