CU Population Center

Institute of Behavioral Science

Can you see cities change?

Population Map

Innovative research from CUPC affiliates Johannes Uhl and Stefan Leyk offer a birds-eye view of urban change across the continental U.S. from 1810 to 2015. The work offers a fascinating perspective and reveals that the number of people living in urban areas across the U.S. has increased more than 800-fold over the past two centuries.

Uhl and Lyek made use of Zillow data, “ZTRAX”, which includes millions of records of properties and their size, land use type, age, and property value. Their recent work, published in Nature Communications Earth and Environment and Earth System Science Data, reveals a wide variety of development patterns — calling into question the notion that cities grow in similar ways.

Read more at CU Boulder Today: Scholars reveal the changing nature of U.S. cities

Also see the team’s YouTube channel :

The data represent an amazing resource for the research community and have been made available through the Historical Settlement Data Compilation for the United States (HISDAC-US).