Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Greene, Richard P.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Geography


Land use; Urban--Illinois--Chicago Suburban Area; Land use; Rural--Illinois--Chicago Suburban Area; Brownfields--Illinois--Chicago Suburban Area


Suburban regions of metropolitan Chicago, Illinois, are evaluated for classification by growth stages. Classifying the conversion of farmland into builtup categories follows the work of others and is based on parcel morphology and ownership characteristics. Parcels are classified by Principal Component Analysis (PCA) which indicates that development is influenced by location in the metropolitan region, highway access, and investment potential. Analyzing PCA clusters by development and location makes it further possible to associate Chicago’s suburban and urban areas with greenfield and brownfield classes. When evaluated for morphology characteristics, Chicago’s peripheral greenfields and brownfields score much differently. Both types are conditioned by the speculative potential of their surroundings. Greenfield projects take on the spacious quality of quarter- section farm fields, while brownfields conform to the irregular, landlocked context afforded to them in urban areas. An index of environmental disruption (perimeter to area ratio) also scores greenfields and brownfields differently. In the communities studied, brownfields score higher in damage potential mostly due to their smaller size, and greenfields score lower. These findings suggest differing strategies for planning, development and control.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [63]-68)


v, 72 pages (some copages, 1 copages folded)




Northern Illinois University

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