The ingenious methodology behind density maps

20 September 2012

On 12 September, LSE Cities researcher Antoine Paccoud was invited to present a unique methodology he developed for last year’s Urban Age conference on ‘Cities, Health and Well-being’ at the International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS) conference in Kiev. Using this methodology, researchers can construct comparable estimates of metropolitan health and wealth performance for a wide range of metropolitan regions globally. As Paccoud explains, ‘the crucial step is to develop a definition of a metropolitan region that can accommodate the wide variety of territorial administrative divisions and allow for the collection of statistical information.’ He coined this spatial unit ‘the Extended Metropolitan Region’ (EMR). The abstract of his paper can be found here, which is soon to be submitted for publication.

An important aspect of the Extended Metropolitan Region is the maps, which show clearly urban density across 12 international cities and their EMRs. The result is an instantaneous snapshot of the human footprint, a simplified visual compared to confusing topographical photos. These maps have been featured by design-platforms far and wide, including FastCoDesignFlowingData and