Master of Science (MS)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



Based on the 2000 and 2010 census tract data from the U.S. Census Bureau, this thesis examines the change of population distribution patterns in New Orleans in the pre- and post-Katrina eras by the monocentric and polycentric density functions. The study area is the mostly urbanized part of the New Orleans Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), including Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes. The post-Katrina New Orleans has experienced an uneven recovery reflected in the geographic disparities in population change. The density function approach investigates what function best captures the population density distribution, how the density patterns have changed over time, how many significant centers can be identified in the study area, and how influential each center has been on the population distribution throughout the area. The regression results of the monocentric model show that New Orleans has experienced suburbanization captured by the negative exponential density function with a lower CBD intercept and a smoother gradient in 2010 than 2000. Two subcenters are identified besides the CBD in New Orleans based on the GIS surface modeling of employment density pattern in combination of field observation. The regression results from the polycentric model indicate that the CBD has significant influence over the citywide population density pattern in both 2000 and 2010, and only one subcenter is significant in 2000 but none in 2010. This indicates that the urban structure in New Orleans has regressed from more of polycentricity in 2010 to monocentricity in 2000.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Wang, Fahui