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Visualising change over time of multi-variate urban planning phenomena

As part of my Master of Research coursework I have been developing a function in R named ‘spot-the-difference’ to support quantitative research in urban planning. This particularly supports the analysis of multivariate phenomenon (such as gentrification, segregation, migration) over time which are well-covered in urban planning literature, but their narratives often fall short in the incorporation of modern GIS technology in their analyses.

R is an open-source programming language and environment that enables statistical computing and the creation of graphics supported by a wide range of geospatial packages.

Early stages of the development of this function led me to discover some great maps already about the similar topic:

‘Gentrification Map’ produced by Savills, using an unknown weighting on social classification data. Source: Economist
Gentrification Map Savills

An Urban Renaissance Achieved? Mapping a Decade of Densification in UK Cities by Duncan Smith


My own analysis of gentrification in London will combine change in the professional class, social housing stock and housing prices as a weighted index. Below is a sample from the function which is still under development – showing change in upper professional managerial class. Data Source: NS-SeC UK Census 2001 and 2011