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Patterns of metropolitan development : what have we learned?

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  • Ingram, Gregory K.
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    Abstract

    Much of our knowledge about metropolitan development is still imperfect, but in the past 35 years a great deal of theoretical and empirical work has been carried out in cities and metropolitan areas in both industrial and developing countries with market-oriented economies. This work has produced empirical findings with remarkably strong regularities across countries and cities. Moreover, many of these empirical regularities are quite consistent with urban location theory and suggest the broad applicability of our basic theory to market-based cities. These regularities offer insights about development and growth pressures in many cities and indicate the directions future development is likely to take. The development pattern of cities in industrial and developing countries with market-based economies exhibit similar patterns of decentralization of both population and employment, with the largest metropolitan areas converging to similarly decentralized structures with multiple subcenters, highly decentralized manufacturing employment, and the central business districts'emerging specialization in service employment. Cities in developing countries typically have higher population densities than those in industrial countries, but the differences have been narrowing over time in the largest metropolitan areas. Decentralization of population and employment increases reliance on road-based transport for both passengers and freight. Industrial countries have experienced decreases in transit use as auto ownership levels have risen. Many developing countries show early signs of a similar pattern, although their transit ridership levels are still high and their transit systems often offer a rich mix of options in terms of vehicle size and level of service. Land markets are strong determinants of decentralization. Cities without land markets exhibit quite different development patterns from cities with even poorly functioning land markets. In market-based cities, land rents are closely related to development densities, although empirical work on land rents and values is relatively rare, for lack of data. Demand patterns in urban housing markets are similar across cities in developing and industrial countries for supply-side impediments vary widely -resulting in a wide range of ratios of housing prices to income. Similarly, the efficiency with which public infrastructure is provided varies widely across cities and across sectors within cities. In the coming decades global urbanization will increase, mostly in low-income countries (which in 1995 contained nearly 60 percent of the world's people). Many of those low-income countries already have large metropolitan areas, whose populations will continue to grow.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1841.

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    Date of creation: 30 Nov 1997
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1841

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    Keywords: Banks&Banking Reform; Urban Housing and Land Settlements; Urban Services to the Poor; Municipal Financial Management; National Urban Development Policies&Strategies; Banks&Banking Reform; Urban Housing and Land Settlements; National Urban Development Policies&Strategies; Urban Services to the Poor; Municipal Financial Management;

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    1. Richard Green & Stephen Malpezzi & Kerry Vandell, 1993. "Urban Regulations and the Price of Land and Housing in Korea," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 93-01, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
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    3. Small, Kenneth A. & Song, Shunfeng, 1992. ""Wasteful" Commuting: A Resolution," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt5142n2ts, University of California Transportation Center.
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    8. Antonio Estache, 1994. "World Development Report: Infrastructure for Development," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/44144, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Small, K.A. & Gomez-Ibanez, J.A., 1996. "Urban Transportation," Papers 95-96-4, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
    10. Hamilton, Bruce W, 1982. "Wasteful Commuting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 1035-51, October.
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    12. Newbery, D.M. & Pollitt, M.G., 1996. "The Restructuring and Privatisation of the CEGB: Was It Worth It?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9607, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    13. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 1992. "Public-Sector Capital and the Productivity Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 4122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Burns, Leland S & Grebler, Leo, 1976. " Resource Allocation to Housing Investment: A Comparative International Study," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 95-121, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. Wang, Rui, 2010. "Shaping urban transport policies in China: Will copying foreign policies work?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 147-152, May.

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