Aging and the demographic ecology of urban areas

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This paper examines effects of demographic aging on the urban ecology, in particular, on the spatial concentration of the elderly. It uses a quasi-dynamic simulation model based on a simple accounting framework to analyze the combined effects of the aging of households and of residential buildings. Three factors are shown to bring about the spatial integration of different age groups: spatial mobility, nondurable housing and household dissolution. Hypothetical examples serve to demonstrate the effect of changing the parameters affecting these processes. If all households have the same preferences for proximity to the center, constant population size results in a completely integrated age distribution. In a growing city, new households concentrate at the periphery, creating a gradually outward moving suburban ring of young households. As these neighborhoods become older, an integrated age distribution develops. On the other hand, age-specific preferences regarding the demographic composition of neighborhoods and relocation lead to a lasting spatial concentration of elderly households.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-145
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Housing for the Elderly
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 27 Aug 1997


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