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The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

  • Urban Problems and Spatial Methods
  • Volume 17, Number 1
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga

Advancing Thought on the Use of Spatial Techniques and Methods for Urban Analysis

Ron Wilson
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Robert Renner
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The views expressed in this introduction are those of the guest editors and do not represent the official positions or policies of the Office of Policy Development and Research, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or the U.S. government.


Over the past 20 years, spatial analysis has exploded across a range of uses. Primarily promoted by the rising capacity of Geographic Information Systems (GISs), spatial analysis is now its own scientific field of inquiry, with many journals, conferences, and academic degrees (see Goodchild, 2010, for a recent two-decade review of accomplishments). Analysts have developed spatial analysis tools across many scientific disciplines to measure local variations of social and environmental phenomena. More often than not, the interaction between these phenomena vary across space, suggesting that a spatial approach may be required to fully understand and respond to society’s most pressing problems. Spatial tools provide us with a quantitative foundation for understanding these complex interactions and implementing place-based solutions. The symposium in this issue of Cityscape is designed to show how spatial techniques and methods can be creatively applied to a wide range of urban issues.

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