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Urban form and job access: Disparate realities in the Randstad

By M. van Ham, P. Hooimeijer and C.H. Mulder


Deconcentration of employment is the driving force behind the rise of the complex urban forms of the polycentric city and the polynucleated metropolis. It is often assumed that the deconcentration process improves job access for average and highly skilled workers, allowing them to move to peripheral residential locations and triggering a new round of urban sprawl. It is also hypothesised that access to suitable job opportunities is withheld from low-skilled workers living in inner-city neighbourhoods as a result of the deconcentration of low-skilled employment beyond their commuting tolerance. In this contribution we illustrate how network-oriented GIS provides an instrument to enable the evaluation of the job access of residential locations at varying levels of commuting tolerance and for various types of employment. Application of this instrument to the metropolitan area of the Randstad shows that suburban locations in between major employment centres are clearly superior for households with highly skilled workers, making urban sprawl towards residential locations outside the Randstad unlikely. It is also shown that for poorly skilled workers with limited commuting tolerance the central city is still the best place to liv

Topics: Sociale Geografie & Planologie, job access, commuting tolerance, polycentric urban structures, network-oriented GIS
Year: 2001
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