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Identification and Differentiation of Urban Centers in Phoenix Through a Multi-Criteria Kernel-Density Approach


  • Timothy F. Leslie

    (Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science, George Mason University, Fairfax VA, USA,


Research concerning geographical centers of economic activity has sought to explain patterns of development and interaction in cities. This article presents a new method of defining intraurban centers within a spatial economic framework as a combination of both employment and establishment kernel-smoothed patterns. The method is applied in Phoenix, a postmodern metropolis that has grown by more than a factor of thirty between 1950 and 2005 and is one of the largest and fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States. Centers are found to vary considerably in their sectoral composition and are grouped based on their focus of secondary, retail, or high-order emphasis. A conditional logit model is used to show how each center differentiates with regard to establishment size and sector as well as the importance of center characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy F. Leslie, 2010. "Identification and Differentiation of Urban Centers in Phoenix Through a Multi-Criteria Kernel-Density Approach," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 33(2), pages 205-235, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:inrsre:v:33:y:2010:i:2:p:205-235

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    Cited by:

    1. Paolo VENERI, 2010. "The Identification of Sub-centres in Two Italian Metropolitan Areas: a Functional Approach," Working Papers 343, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    2. Jaume Masip Tresserra, 2012. "Identifying the Employment and Population Centers at regional and metropolitan scale: The Case of Catalonia and Barcelona," ERSA conference papers ersa12p70, European Regional Science Association.
    3. Jaume Masip Tresserra, 2012. "Does Employment Density death? Towards a new integrated methodology to identify and characterize Sub-Centres," ERSA conference papers ersa12p71, European Regional Science Association.
    4. repec:bla:growch:v:47:y:2016:i:4:p:631-647 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Flex, Florian, 2016. "Bestimmung und Abgrenzung innergemeindlicher zentralörtlicher Cluster," Arbeitsberichte der ARL: Aufsätze,in: Neuaufstellung des Zentrale-Orte-Konzepts in Nordrhein-Westfalen, pages 139-155 Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung (ARL) - Leibniz-Forum für Raumwissenschaften.


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