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Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 11632-11656;

Monocentric or Polycentric? The Urban Spatial Structure of Employment in Beijing

School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, No. 19, XinJieKouWai Str., HaiDian District, Beijing 100875, China
Urban-Rural Planning Administration Center, Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of China, No.9 San Li He Road, Beijing 100835, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yehua Dennis Wei
Received: 25 May 2015 / Revised: 11 August 2015 / Accepted: 13 August 2015 / Published: 25 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Land and Sustainable Development)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3649 KB, uploaded 25 August 2015]   |  


The spatial structure of Beijing has changed dramatically since the reforms of the late 1970s. It is not clear, however, whether these changes have been sufficient to transform the city’s monocentric spatial structure into a polycentric one. This paper uses 2010 enterprise registered data to investigate the spatial distribution of employment in Beijing. Using a customized grid to increase the spatial resolution of our results, we explore the city’s employment density distribution and investigate potential employment subcenters. This leads to several findings. First, Beijing still has strong monocentric characteristics; second, the city has a very large employment center rather than a small central business district; third, five subcenters are identified, including four in the suburbs; and fourth, a polycentric model that includes these subcenters possesses more explanatory power than a simple monocentric model, but by only four percentage. We conclude that the spatial structure of Beijing is still quite monocentric, but may be in transition to a polycentric pattern. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban spatial structure; employment density; subcenter; urban development; Beijing urban spatial structure; employment density; subcenter; urban development; Beijing

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Huang, D.; Liu, Z.; Zhao, X. Monocentric or Polycentric? The Urban Spatial Structure of Employment in Beijing. Sustainability 2015, 7, 11632-11656.

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