Modelling Flux: Towards the Estimation of Small Area Temporary Populations in Australia

Elin Charles-Edwards (2011). Modelling Flux: Towards the Estimation of Small Area Temporary Populations in Australia PhD Thesis, School of Geography, Planning & Env Management, The University of Queensland.

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Author Elin Charles-Edwards
Thesis Title Modelling Flux: Towards the Estimation of Small Area Temporary Populations in Australia
School, Centre or Institute School of Geography, Planning & Env Management
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-01
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Total pages 287
Total colour pages 83
Total black and white pages 204
Subjects 16 Studies in Human Society
Abstract/Summary Temporary population mobility, defined as a move more than one night in duration that does not entail a change in permanent residence, is a numerically significant phenomenon, both in Australia and overseas. As well as its theoretical importance, temporary mobility also has far-reaching practical implications for the planning and provision of local goods and services. Despite its acknowledged significance, previous efforts to produce estimates of non-resident populations have met with limited success. This thesis argues that lack of progress in this field is a symptom of the fragmentary state of knowledge of temporary population mobility in space and, more particularly, through time, and that by improving understanding of the dynamics of temporary mobility, more robust system-wide estimates of temporary populations can be produced. Accordingly, the thesis has two aims: (i) to advance understanding of the structure of the Australian temporary population mobility system by pursuing a more systematic approach to conceptualisation and quantification of temporary mobility, and (ii) to develop a model for the estimation of small area temporary populations. In contrast to other components of demographic change, temporary population mobility is characterised by significant short-term variability in its intensity, spatial orientation and duration. The challenge, therefore, is to identify the dynamic set of geographies which combine to generate the Australian temporary mobility surface. It is argued that that drivers of temporary mobility act at two distinct spatial scales. At the national level, institutional structures, such as the standard working time model and the school calendar, determine the total number of movers in the system, their composition and aggregate travel budgets. At the sub-national scale, climatic seasonality, the occurrence of scheduled events, and social tradition, transform the attractiveness of regions over the year altering the spatial distribution and duration of visits. The impact of institutional and region-specific attributes vary according to whether moves are undertaken for leisure, to visit to friends and relatives, or for business purposes. The outcome of these institutional and regional attributes is a spatially differentiated mobility surface which splits along four main lines: urban versus rural, coastal versus inland, northern versus southern Australia, and according to accessibility. Visits to these regions vary in their composition, in their timing, and in their duration. This dynamic population surface is characterised by a continuous ebb and flow of movers across the settlement system, and considerable flux in visitor populations within localities. Capturing this flux is the primary challenge in estimating temporary populations at the regional and local level. In place of past approaches that have utilised direct and indirect methods to estimate temporary populations, the thesis adopts an approach based on simulation modelling. Formulation of the model moves from a fully saturated matrix of temporary flows across space and time, to a simplified model of monthly visitor nights spent within destination regions. In its final form, the model reflects two distinct sets of processes, those driving the aggregate annual intensity of temporary mobility, and those driving the temporal variation in visitor populations at destinations. This study focuses on the latter. The model is made operational by Monte Carlo simulation and driven by a series of sampling distributions reflecting the composition, seasonality and duration of visits to destination regions. The model is evaluated with respect to both in and out-of-sample periods and regions. The model performs well overall, however, for a small subset of regions results suggest other processes at work. The most significant of these are the presence of local deviations from the modelled profiles not adequately captured at the regional scale for which reliable data are available, and the impact of multi-destination circuits which lead to variations in the amplitude and slopes of peaks in visitation from one year to the next. Building on these insights, the thesis anticipates how the model can be made operational for practical applications in a form that allows analysts to incorporate these dimensions using local expert knowledge.
Keyword Temporary population mobility
Population estimates
Migration - Australia
Additional Notes Colour: 63-64;74-75;77;81-82;84-85;88-90;94;102;110;112; 113;118-120; 122; 124; 136; 138-139; 155-156; 158-160; 163-164;167-169; 174; 176-177; 195-197; 199-200; 202-206; 208; 210; 214-215; 255-257; 260-287 Landscape: 41; 63-64

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Created: Fri, 15 Jul 2011, 11:08:34 EST by Ms Elin Charles-edwards on behalf of Library - Information Access Service