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The nodular metropolitan concept : some social and spatial aspects. Part of a group thesis Lindeman, Monica H.

Abstract

A basic problem exists in the use of the concept of social behavior as a spatial determinant in planning. It is a problem of identifying various social behavioral indicators, and their spatial implications. The aspect of variable social behavior has been selected as take off point in this study. Within this framework one element has been chosen for inquiry, that of orientation toward the future. The question is whether persons are "future" oriented, that is whether "change", and "doing new things" is part of their repertoire; and to what extent nominals such as city area, home, occupation, etc. represent a standard set of constraints or inventories of alternatives. Methods of investigation include a comparative analysis of the area under study with the larger metropolitan area as a whole, and empirical research of an exploratory study into social behavior. A location quotient was computed for a number of social and residential characteristics, and the results compared with social area analysis coefficients. The method of inquiry for the empirical research uses an interview questionnaire survey, formulated over a two year period as part of an ongoing urban research project. The method of statistical analysis used for the interim results was a multivariate contingency tabulation utilizing a computer programmed subroutine. The Mann-Whitney U Test was used to compare two independent sample groups. General conclusions are that the subarea under study differs in its social and residential characteristics from the metropolitan area as a whole. Preliminary results on selected nominals, responses, and activities show certain tendencies of social behavior, which, if born out by the final data, could provide some insight into the reference structure of a population. Where these referents are not readily transferable from non-local to local conditions in new development plans, such referents have to be analysed further to get at their elements. Then spaces could be planned so that they encompass these composite elements. Cross tabulated results indicate that social behavior of certain aggregates of persons is more fixed than that of others, and that the environment is more variable for some than for others. Yet, due to the severe limitation of the sample size, evidence on the future orientation and variability criterion is not con-elusive, and can only be considered as exploratory. But — with all the data in eventually, and a multiple regression analysis — this study would provide more conclusive evidence.

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