Urban spatial structure and suburbanisation. The case of the Barcelona Metropolitan
The metropolitan spatial structure displays various patterns, sometimes monocentricity and sometimes multicentricity, which seems much more complicated than the exponential density function used in classic works such as Clark (1961), Muth (1969) or Mills (1973) among others, can effectively represent. It seems that a more flexible density function,such as cubic spline function (Anderson (1982), Zheng (1991), etc.) to describe the density-accessibility relationship is needed. Also, accessibility, the fundamental determinant of density variations, is only partly captured by the inclusion of distance to the city centre as an explanatory variable. Steen (1986) has proposed to correct that miss-especification by including an additional gradient for distance to the nearest transportation axis. In identifying the determinants of urban spatial structure in the context of inter-urban systems, some of the variables proposed by Muth (1969), Mills (1973) and Alperovich (1983) such as city age or population, make no sense in the case of a single urban system. All three criticism to the exponential density function and its determinants apply for the Barcelona Metropolitan Region, a polycentric conurbation structured on well defined transportation axes.
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