Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Joel Ivan Baltzer, 1984

Factors Influencing the Spatial Variation of Residential Development in Halifax, Nova Scotia


This study examines which factors have influenced spatial variations in the amount and type of residential development incurred in Halifax, Nova Scotia, between 1971 and 1981. The amount of development has been measured as the per cent change of the housing stock, while type of housing was measured as the proportion of new dwelling units which are low density. It is assumed from traditional residential location theories that the highest residential growth rates, composed of predominantly low density housing, will occur in young neighbourhoods. Alternatively, low rates of residential construction, of mostly high density housing, are expected in older neighbourhoods.

Twenty-one variables were selected representing an array of social, economic, physical, and spatial factors. These variables were included in two multiple regression analyses, one for each dependent variable. The regression results indicated that the independent variables jointly explained 86.62 per cent of the variation in the rate of residential development and 83.02 per cent of the variance in the type of new housing. Average income per household proved to be the most influential variable in both analyses.

In general, the regression results tended to support assumptions made about the spatial variation of the rate and type of housing growth. However, variables reflecting recent housing development processes must be incorporated in further research on this topic.