Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Growth and Hierarchy of Cities in Algeria: Application of the Rank-Size Rule

Version 1 : Received: 15 September 2021 / Approved: 17 September 2021 / Online: 17 September 2021 (11:22:00 CEST)

How to cite: Bousmaha, A.; Zeraib, S.; Benhassine, N.; Kouba, Y. Growth and Hierarchy of Cities in Algeria: Application of the Rank-Size Rule. Preprints 2021, 2021090306 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202109.0306.v1). Bousmaha, A.; Zeraib, S.; Benhassine, N.; Kouba, Y. Growth and Hierarchy of Cities in Algeria: Application of the Rank-Size Rule. Preprints 2021, 2021090306 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202109.0306.v1).

Abstract

The objectives of this paper are to analyze the urban growth and urbanization phenomenon in Algeria. Two processes that originated respectively by the expansion of existing urban areas and the process of urbanization that took place between 1954 and 2008, a period marked by significant economic, social and political changes in Algerian society. Our analysis was mainly based on the Algerian general census of population and habitat (2008) and on the application of rank-size distribution of cities according to Zipf’s rule. This study revealed that in Algeria, the urban system is particularly marked by the dramatic expansion of small cities. Indeed, the development of small towns, through the transition from rural to urban and the residential loosening of large cities have influenced the trend towards the balance of the urban system in Algeria. Results revealed also how the "primatial" city is undergoing profound economic and social changes at the national level. These changes are most often imposed from the top as part of land-use planning policy. This study provides some insights into the demographic dynamics of cities and the evolution of urban hierarchies in Algeria, through the comparison of the different rank-size distributions of Algerian cities in space and time. Our results suggest that land-use planning strategies are the only policies capable of influencing the future of the Algerian urban system.

Keywords

urbanization; urban growth urban hierarchy; urban system

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