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Urban Form and Job Access: Disparate Realities in the Randstad


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  • Maarten van Ham
  • Pieter Hooimeijer
  • Clara H. Mulder


Deconcentration of employment is the driving force behind the rise of the complex urban forms of the polycentric city and the polynucleated metropolis. It is often assumed that the deconcentration process improves job access for average and highly skilled workers, allowing them to move to peripheral residential locations and triggering a new round of urban sprawl. It is also hypothesised that access to suitable job opportunities is withheld from low-skilled workers living in inner-city neighbourhoods as a result of the deconcentration of low-skilled employment beyond their commuting tolerance. In this contribution we illustrate how network-oriented GIS provides an instrument to enable the evaluation of the job access of residential locations at varying levels of commuting tolerance and for various types of employment. Application of this instrument to the metropolitan area of the Randstad shows that suburban locations in between major employment centres are clearly superior for households with highly skilled workers, making urban sprawl towards residential locations outside the Randstad unlikely. It is also shown that for poorly skilled workers with limited commuting tolerance the central city is still the best place to live. Copyright Royal Dutch Geographical Society 2001.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG in its journal Tijdschrift voor Economische en Social Geografie.

Volume (Year): 92 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 231-246

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Handle: RePEc:bla:tvecsg:v:92:y:2001:i:2:p:231-246

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Cited by:
  1. van Ham, Maarten & Manley, David, 2013. "Occupational Mobility and Living in Deprived Neighbourhoods: Housing Tenure Differences in 'Neighbourhood Effects'," IZA Discussion Papers 7815, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Otto Raspe & Frank Van Oort & Martijn Burger, 2006. "Economic Networks and Urban Complementarities in the Dutch Randstad Region," ERSA conference papers ersa06p827, European Regional Science Association.
  3. B├╝chel, Felix & van Ham, Maarten, 2002. "Overeducation, Regional Labour Markets and Spatial Flexibility," IZA Discussion Papers 424, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. David Manley & Maarten van Ham, 2011. "Living in deprived neighbourhoods in Scotland. Occupational mobility and neighbourhood effects," ERSA conference papers ersa10p547, European Regional Science Association.
  5. van Ham, Maarten & Manley, David, 2009. "The Effect of Neighbourhood Housing Tenure Mix on Labour Market Outcomes: A Longitudinal Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 4094, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).


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