You are here

'Edge' or 'Edgeless Cities'? Urban Spatial Structure in US Metropolitan Areas, 1980 to 2000

Bumsoo Lee
This paper presents a descriptive analysis of spatial trends in six US metropolitan areas. The results show that jobs continued to decentralize from the metropolitan core to the suburbs and generalized jobs dispersion was more common than subcentering in the 1980s and 1990s. Three distinctive patterns of spatial development were identified: Jobs dispersion was a predominant spatial process in Portland and Philadelphia; the traditional centers remained strong agglomerations in New York and Boston; and progressive employment subcentering occurred in Los Angeles and San Francisco. They seem to have developed unique paths of job dispersion, in light of their histories and circumstances, that limit the growth of mean commute times.