Date of Award

Summer 8-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban and Regional Planning


Planning and Urban Studies

Major Professor

Michelle Thompson

Second Advisor

John Renne

Third Advisor

Karen Parsons


Land use grain is a commonly-used measure of the mixture of land uses in the urban environment in transportation planning and public health, but there is no standard measurement practice in place. This thesis examines the meaning and common measurements of land use grain in these subfields. The entropy-based equation, the jobs-to-housing ratio, and the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) are among the most common measures of land use grain, but results from these metrics differ depending upon how researchers choose a sample area and upon how land use categories are defined. All three metrics are performed, in a single context with varying assumptions, using the neighborhoods of Roxbury and Dorchester in Boston, MA. The entropy-based equation was deemed the most appropriate measure in a general context, with the HHI and the jobs-to-housing ratio potentially appropriate in specific contexts.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.