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Employment Decentralisation: Polycentricity or Scatteration? The Case of Barcelona


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  • Miquel-Àngel Garcia-López

    (Miquel-Àngel Garcia-López is in the Department of Applied Economics, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Edifici B, Facultat de Ciències Econòmiques, Campus Bellaterra, Bellaterra, Barcelona, 08193, Spain,

  • Ivan Muñiz

    (Ivan Muñiz is in the Department of Applied Economics, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Edifici B, Facultat de Ciències Econòmiques, Campus Bellaterra, Bellaterra, Barcelona, 08193, Spain,

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    At the present time, most large cities in the world are polycentric and, at the same time, they are undergoing processes of employment decentralisation and deconcentration. It has been argued that polycentricity is just an intermediate stage between monocentricity and a more unstructured, chaotic and amorphous location model, scatteration. For the case of the polycentric Barcelona, the aims of this study are to test: whether its employment is moving from polycentricity to scatteration; and, whether its employment location model is increasingly random and unstructured. The results show that, in spite of the decentralisation and deconcentration processes, employment concentrated in centres still represents a significant percentage of total employment and new sub-centres have emerged in the periphery. What is more, the results also show an increasing influence of employment sub-centres on employment location and density conditions. As a result, polycentricity has been reinforced.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Urban Studies Journal Limited in its journal Urban Studies.

    Volume (Year): 47 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 14 (December)
    Pages: 3035-3056

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    Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:47:y:2010:i:14:p:3035-3056

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    Cited by:
    1. Emili Tortosa-Ausina & Luisa Alamá & Ana M Fuertes-Eugenio & Marta Roig-Casanova, 2011. "Urban spatial structure and economic growth in Spanish metropolitan areas," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1703, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Ivan Muñiz & Miguel-Àngel García-López, 2012. "Chaos and order in the contemporary city. The impact of urban spatial structure on population density and commuting distance in Barcelona, 1986-2001," Working Papers wpdea1207, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
    3. Miquel- Àngel Garcia-López, 2012. "Urban spatial structure, suburbanization and transportation in Barcelona," Working Papers 2012/11, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    4. Filippo Celata, . "Suburban hotels and the atomization of tourist space in large cities: the case of Rome," Working Papers 102/12, Sapienza University of Rome, Metodi e modelli per l'economia, il territorio e la finanza MEMOTEF.
    5. Garcia-López, Miquel-Àngel, 2012. "Urban spatial structure, suburbanization and transportation in Barcelona," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 176-190.


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