Download the shapefile here: Urban Suburban Rural (zipped shapefile).
This layer was developed by the Fire Department to use in our annual reporting to the state. We must report total incidents by Urban,Suburban, and Rural. Using the State of California formula for urban,suburban was found to be not applicable to Los Angeles County. The state was using census tract to compute the USR and only using population. This worked for them as they had to look at the whole state by county. We used the following variables:
1. Total Population
3 Street miles
We then re-distributed the totals down to a one-mile grid. Then a scoring system for each variable was developed. One being a low, and ten 10 being the highest. We then totaled up the scores for each category. What we found was that we needed to ‘smooth’ the results to ensure a smooth transition from urban,suburban, and rural. We found that using ESRI’s Neighborhood model was a perfect tool to finalize our results. We documented our methodology and asked the Urban Research Division of Los Angeles County to independently analyze our results. With some minor tweaking the USR layer was approved and is now used for all our reporting.