A comparative approach towards ethnic segregation patterns in Belgian cities using multiscalar individualized neighborhoods

Lena Imeraj, Didier Willaert, Helga De Valk

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Levels of spatial segregation in Western European cities are persistent over space and time. To demonstrate the degree or appearance of spatial segregation, most studies on urban residential patterns still rely on fixed spatial units, aspatial measures and single scales. However, a spatial or temporal comparison of patterns and levels of segregation based on such units or metrics is not without problems. To that end, this paper takes an explicit geographic approach and considers individualized neighborhoods using EquiPop-software, allowing various scales. Using the k-nearest neighbors for all individuals increases international comparability and facilitates interpretation, so far often hampered in segregation research. This multiscalar, multigroup comparative approach on ethnic urban geographies – using Belgium as a case study – provides an empirical illustration of a valuable method and tool applicable in segregation research, thereby furthering the comprehension of the increasingly diverse urban geographies and building on emerging work in the US, Europe and beyond.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1221-1246
Number of pages26
JournalUrban Geography
Issue number8
Early online date13 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sep 2018


  • Belgium
  • census data
  • EquiPop
  • Ethnic segregation
  • individualized neighborhoods
  • urban areas

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