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Veblen in the Metropolis: Land Use Proximity in United States Urban Landscapes E. Anthon Eff Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN Why no pawn shops in shopping malls? No liquor stores near churches? No adult bookstores near schools? No nursing homes near cemeteries?

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veblen in the metropolis land use proximity in united states urban landscapes

Veblen in the Metropolis: Land Use Proximity in United States Urban Landscapes

E. Anthon Eff

Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN

slide2

Why no pawn shops in shopping malls?

  • No liquor stores near churches?
  • No adult bookstores near schools?
  • No nursing homes near cemeteries?

Tacit rules of land use proximity

    • Avoiding contagion of unlike things
    • Can be studied from the perspective of Anthropology: formation of taboos
slide3

Unconscious preferences  Tacit rules  Collective action  Landuse regulations  Landuse associations.

  • Empirical look at landuse associations can give sense of these unconscious preferences.
  • Data: all parcels in Davidson County, Tennessee (Nashville); 216,898 parcels, classified in 77 landuses.
slide13

Calculate the probability that one land use will be adjacent to another.

    • Adjacent: two parcels adjacent when borders within 70 feet of each other.
    • 216,898 parcels related in 2,397,367 proximate parcel pairs.
slide15

matrix M: each cell mij gives the number of times that

a parcel of land use i is proximate to a parcel of land use j.

(M is 77x77, only eight rows and columns shown)

slide16

Matrix M can be used to create the transition matrix P,

where each cell pij gives the probability that a parcel of land use i

is proximate to a parcel of land use j.

(Eight of 77 rows and columns shown)

slide17

matrix X: each cell xij gives the expected probability that a parcel of land use i is proximate to a parcel of land use j.

The expected proximity matrix X can then be compared with the actual proximity matrix P to give matrix D:

D = P - X

slide18

Net Probability: D = P - X

These net probabilities represent the tacit rules governing

land use associations.

(Eight of 77 rows and columns shown)

slide19

From Table 1: 7 landuses with highest openness (all commercial or industrial)

and 7 landuses with lowest openness (all respectable housing or common area)

slide24

Summary of tacit rules:

  • Single family home on city lot is most isolated from other land uses.
  • Residential is isolated from commercial.
  • Lower-status housing (apartments, mobile homes) tends to be more associated with commercial or rural land uses.
historical background i
Historical background I
  • 18th century Europe, emerging capitalist middle class, erosion of traditions (Möser, Simmel)
  • Old elite displaced (e.g., guild masters lose market to factory owners). Circulation of the elite (Pareto). The need to display status (Eric Wolf).
  • Work areas move out of home to different part of city (Braudel); principle of conspicuous leisure (Veblen).
  • Home separates into public and private areas, with public area full of expensive goods for display (Braudel); principle of conspicuous consumption (Veblen).
historical background ii
Historical background II
  • Pecuniary valuations displace traditional values (things and people become “commodified”). (Georg Simmel)
  • “Whole person” relationships replaced by instrumental, contractually bounded relationships (e.g., serfs replaced by wage labor). (Justus Möser)
  • 19th century Europe, middle class cult of the family (“domestic ideology”), centered on home, provides new source of meaning (Frykman & Löfgren)
  • Separation of home into private and public areas. Family sheltered from commodified relationships.
slide27

Summary:

  • Most salient separation is between single family home on city lot and commercial landuses.
  • This separation based on
    • the use of the home as a signal of status, removing from the home all trace of useful work.
    • the “domestic ideology”: family as the focus of life, separated from external world
implications
Implications
  • New way to view landuse regulations: they function as sumptuary laws maintaining status boundary.
  • Deep roots to the trend toward housing separated from other land uses.