Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Spatial Determinants of CBD Emergence: A Micro-level Case Study on Berlin∗

Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M. and Wendlan, Nicolai (2008): Spatial Determinants of CBD Emergence: A Micro-level Case Study on Berlin∗.

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Abstract

Over the recent decades, scholars and planning practitioners have developed strategies for directed urban decentralization, which aim at the optimization of urban commuting patterns by allowing households to locate closer to job opportunities. However, given ongoing changes in the socioeconomic framework, households are becoming less likely to choose their residences with respect to location of the workplace. In order to optimize trip patterns with respect to public transport and to simultaneously promote sustainable urban growth, we therefore suggest a strategy of Directed Urban Concentration, which purports the generation of very strong (employment) sub-centers, if not multiple central business districts (CBDs), as a complementary strategy to established approaches of mixed and multifunctional land use. In an empirical analysis we show that in the case of Berlin, Germany, the emergence of the second CBD during the first half of the past century was largely driven by market access generated by rail-based public transport. Our results suggest that city planners could successfully promote the emergence of new urban economic cores with focal transport nodes that are equivalently well-connected to their hinterlands as well as to the existing CBD.

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