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Defining and measuring polycentric regions: the case of Tuscany

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  • Burgalassi, David

Abstract

Polycentric development in regions has many dimensions, which involve several definitions and measures. This paper tackles the problem of defining and measuring polycentricity under an integrated and multi- dimensional perspective. Firstly, the policy relevance of polycentricity is analysed. Then, the paper identifies the definitions and measures of polycentricity by surveying the literature. It also provides a taxonomy among two main aspects involved in the definition of polycentricity: the morphological dimension and the functional dimension. Based on this background, an empirical analysis is carried out, by using data about population and commuting flows in the Tuscany Region (Italy). The results show that Tuscany can be viewed as a polycentric spatial structure, both considering rank-size distribution of cities and spatial interaction.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 25880.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:25880

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Keywords: Polycentric development; spatial structure; rank-size estimations; spatial interaction; Tuscany;

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  1. Paolo Veneri, 2010. "Urban Polycentricity and the Costs of Commuting: Evidence from Italian Metropolitan Areas," Growth and Change, Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky, vol. 41(3), pages 403-429.
  2. Xavier Gabaix & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2003. "The Evolution of City Size Distributions," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0310, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  3. Börje Johansson & John Quigley, 2003. "Agglomeration and networks in spatial economies," Papers in Regional Science, Springer, vol. 83(1), pages 165-176, October.
  4. Richard Arnott & Alex Anas & Kenneth Small, 1997. "Urban Spatial Structure," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 388., Boston College Department of Economics.
  5. Narisra Limtanakool & Tim Schwanen & Martin Dijst, 2009. "Developments in the Dutch Urban System on the Basis of Flows," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(2), pages 179-196.
  6. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law and the Growth of Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 129-132, May.
  7. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
  8. P Gordon & H W Richardson & H L Wong, 1986. "The distribution of population and employment in a polycentric city: the case of Los Angeles," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 18(2), pages 161-173, February.
  9. Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Evert Meijers & Krister Sandberg, 2006. "Polycentric Development to Combat Regional Disparities? the Relation Between Polycentricity and Regional Disparities in European Countries," ERSA conference papers ersa06p287, European Regional Science Association.
  11. Edward L. Glaeser, 1998. "Are Cities Dying?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 139-160, Spring.
  12. Camagni, Roberto & Gibelli, Maria Cristina & Rigamonti, Paolo, 2002. "Urban mobility and urban form: the social and environmental costs of different patterns of urban expansion," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 199-216, February.
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