University of California Transportation Center
Population and Employment Densities: Structure and Change
- Author(s): Small, Kenneth A.
- Song, Shunfeng
- et al.
We examine spatial patterns and their changes during the 1970s for the Los Angeles region, by estimating monocentric and polycentric density functions for employment and population. Downtown Los Angeles is clearly identified as the statistical monocentric center of the region, and it is the most consistently strong center in the polycentric patterns. Polycentric models fit statistically better than monocentric models, and there was some shift in employment distribution toward a more polycentric pattern. These findings verify the existence of polycentricity in Los Angeles and demonstrate for the first time that employment and especially population follow a polycentric pattern based on exogenously defined employment centers. The results confirm that both employment and population became more dispersed during the 1970s.