People In The Pixel: Towards Grid-based Population Modelling
Free (open access)
H. B. M. Hilderink
The proportion of the population living in urban areas is expected to increase in the coming decades. The UN estimates that in 2007 half of the world population will be living in urban areas. The possible impacts of urbanization, both on the human as on the environmental system, are beyond dispute. This process of urbanization can result in the worsening of living conditions. On the other hand, the pressure on the environment increases with the increase of people concentrating in a particular place. The definition of what is considered to be an urban area is rather ambiguous. Instead of taking the size of a city or one of the other rather disputable and ambiguous urban characteristics mentioned above, population density could be used as uniform proximate indicator for urban area. To explore future population changes we have to draw back to the available population projections, mostly describing population dynamics at a national or regional level. Urban and rural areas differ in the underlying population dynamics. In general, birth and death rates are higher in rural areas. The third basic component of population changes, migration, has to be distinguished. Future population densities can be explored by combining macro-oriented population projections including these demographic components and micro-characteristics such as population densities. Keywords: urbanization, global population densities, projections, macro-micro connection. 1 Introduction The proportion of the population living in urban areas is expected to increase in the coming decades. The UN  estimates that in 2007 half of the world
urbanization, global population densities, projections, macro-micro connection.