Gauging the Relationship between Contextual Growth and Structural Neglect

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Galen Newman
Michelle Meyer
Boah Kim
Ryun Jung Lee


Population and land use out-migrations from urban to peripheral areas can result in non-functional, unmaintained historic structures which deteriorate to the point where removal is cheaper than removal – or demolition by neglect. The increasing rate of neglected historic structures is a growing concern. There is a need for research investigating connections between urban growth management and its effect on neglect. This paper applies Newman’s (2013) conceptual model of measuring neglect to Geographic Information Systems, comparing rates of neglect in historic Doylestown, Quakertown, and Bristol boroughs in Pennsylvania, USA utilizing different amounts of peripheral agricultural preservation. Comparisons are made examining descriptive statistics on existing conditions, a Polychoric correlation evaluating relationships between drivers of neglect, and a cross-comparative GIS spatial analysis. Results indicate as amounts of peripheral preserved farmlands increase, neglect can be lowered.


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Newman, G., Meyer, M., Kim, B., & Jung Lee, R. (2018). Gauging the Relationship between Contextual Growth and Structural Neglect. International Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs, 2(2), 33-45. Retrieved from


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