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An analysis of bid-rent curve variations across American cities

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Research literature were reviewed regarding the land-use economic theory of bid-rent curves and the modern emergence of polycentric cities. Two independent Geographic Information System (GIS) analyses were completed to test

Research literature were reviewed regarding the land-use economic theory of bid-rent curves and the modern emergence of polycentric cities. Two independent Geographic Information System (GIS) analyses were completed to test the hypothesis that bid-rent methodology could be used to tease out trends in residential locations, and hence contribute to present-day urban planning efforts. Specifically, these analyses sought to address the relationships between place of work and place of residence in urban areas. A generalizable set of benchmarks for identifying urban employment centers were established for 10 study cities in the United States, and bid-rent curves were calculated under separate monocentric assumptions and polycentric assumptions. The results presented wide variations in real bid-rent curves that a) overall deviated dramatically from the hypothetical distribution of rent, and b) spoke to the unique residential patterns in individual U.S. cities. The implications of these variations were discussed with regard to equitable housing for marginalized groups and access to centers of employment.

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  • 2014