The American Way of Land Use A Spatial Hazard Analysis of Changes Through Time

Carruthers, John I., Selma Hepp, Gerrit-Jan Knaap, and Robert N. Renner

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This article examines the ability of proportional hazard models to evaluate changes in land use through time. There are three specific objectives: (a) to review previous research on the complexity of urbanization and explain how the spatial hazard framework accommodates that complexity; (b); to estimate a series of spatial hazard models characterizing land use in the twenty-five highest growth core based statistical areas (CBSAs) of the United States in 1990, 2000, and 2006; and (c) to use the estimation results to track land use change region-by-region over the 16-year time frame. Overall, the analysis reveals that the spatial hazard framework offers a highly effective means of describing land use change. Along the way, it also illustrates that the classic model of urbanization continues to hold in an evermore complex world—albeit, in an explicitly uncertain and inherently probabilistic manner.