Category Archives: Demographics

Hamilton city centre – A 2013 Louis Wirth measure

Posted on by 0 comment

Louis Wirth (1897-1952) was a noted urban scholar who created a typology of urbanism that defines cities according to three factors

  1. Large population size
  2. Density of settlement
  3. Heterogeneity [diversity] of inhabitants and group life

Hamilton, with a population of over 100,000, is city-sized and it does have a good number of areas with population densities of over 3,000 people per square km, but no unit areas meeting the urban density benchmark of 10,000 persons per square mile [3,886 per square km] suggested by Mark Jefferson (see p6 in the reference below)

However, as Wirth stated, “The characterization of a community as urban on the basis of size alone is obviously arbitrary” (p5).

This brings us to heterogeneity, which can be interpreted as showing that something that is made up of many different elements, one example being a local dialect that has components from several different languages. Census data uses two measures for language, as illustrated in the examples below.

Louis Wirth also gives a further measure: ‘The foreign born and their children constitute nearly two-thirds of all the inhabitants of cities of one million and over. Their proportion in the urban population declines as the size of the city decreases, until in the rural areas they comprise only about one-sixth of the total population.’

Using factors 2 (Density), 3 (Heterogeneity using Language) and being foreign born, we can identify Hamilton’s most compact and diverse neighbourhoods.

Neighbourhood Density per/ha Multilingual % Foreign Born % Score
University 30.2 32 36 98.2
Hillcrest West 31.5 30 36 97.5
Silverdale 25.4 29 33 87.4
Hamilton Central 11.5 32 40 83.5
Insoll 33.3 30 19 82.3
Brymer 26.5 25 29 80.5
Melville 25.7 27 27 79.7
Hamilton East 24.9 25 29 78.9
Peachgrove 22.9 26 28 76.9
Huntington 20.9 24 31 75.9
Bader 20 28 27 75
Dinsdale South 25.8 16 13 74.8
Fairview Downs 29.5 24 19 72.5
Enderley 28.5 24 20 72.5
Porrit 17 29 26 72
Rototuna 21 21 29 71
Hamilton Lake 11.5 27 32 70.5
Horsham Downs 12 25 33 70
Chedworth 22.5 22 25 69.5
Grandview 34 20 15 69
Claudelands 20.4 23 25 68.4
Crawshaw 34.1 23 11 68.1
Swarbrick 28.6 22 17 67.6
Riverlea 15.7 22 28 65.7
Clarkin 23.8 23 18 64.8
Naylor 19.6 21 24 64.6
Nawton 26.2 20 17 63.2
Maeroa 25.7 20 16 61.7
Flagstaff 18.9 17 25 60.9
Sylvester 6.5 20 29 55.5
Frankton Junction 5.8 20 24 49.5
Temple View 4.2 22 16 42.2

While the University area does well in terms of compactness and diversity, the data also show that the Hamilton Central area is attracting the right type of people; it just needs more of them.

Reference: Wirth, L. (1938). Urbanism as a way of life. American Journal of Sociology, 44(1), 1-24. Retrieved from

http://choros.epfl.ch/files/content/sites/choros/files/shared/Enseignement/Sciences%20de%20la%20ville/11-12/Wirth%20-%20Urbanism.pdf

Category: CBD, Demographics, News, Planning

Hamilton as a medium sized city in German

These two earlier posts, Hamilton as medium sized city in Netherlands and Hamilton compared to a medium sized city in Australia, show Hamilton can be seen as a more densely populated type of city. To take this a step further, this post adds German cities to the list. For Germany, the number of cities that can act as benchmarks becomes larger and the closeness to major cities gives density patterns similar to those measured in Australia , with the higher density cities being part of the metropolitan area of a major city. The sources for data on German cities are wikipedia List of cities in Germany by population and City Mayors German top cities

hamilton-pop-density-thousands-netherlands-germany

What makes these German cities an interesting comparison to Hamilton is that most have a river flowing through them; below are photos from three of them, showing Koblenz with the rivers Rhine and Moselle, Kassel with the Fulda River, and Ulm on the River Danube

Koblenz Rhine & Moselle Rivers Kassel Fulda River 1 Ulm Danube River 1

Something worth exploring further is how these river promenades link with the city retail area and what activities are actually happening. Are people attracted to the river edge area more because of the width of open spaces and good sight lines or because of commercial activity?