Agglomeration and Dispersion of High-order Service Employment in the Montreal Metropolitan Region, 1981– 96
Wiliam J. Coffey and Richard G. Shearmur
[Paper rst received, March 2000; in nal form, March 2001]
Summary. Much of the recent urban literature on suburban employment centres has neglected the role of high-order services, perhaps the principal component of ‘edge cities’, in the creation of the evolving multinucleated metropolitan structure. This paper speci caly explores the role of high-order services in this process. We use employment by place-of-work data at the census-tract level to examine the changing intrametropolitan geography of employment in four nance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) services and eight business services in the Montreal area over the period 1981–96. We nd evidence of central business district (CBD) decline in relative, but not absolute, terms. The resulting decentralisation has clearly assumed the form of polycentricity rather than of generalised dispersion. In spite of recent advances in telecommunications technologies, agglomeration economies continue to exert an important impact upon intrametropolitan location.
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