Urban Studies, Vol. 44, No.

9, 1713– 1738, August 2007

Intrametropolitan Employment Structure: Polycentricity, Scatteration, Dispersal and Chaos in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, 1996 – 2001
´ and Re ´ my Barbonne Richard Shearmur, William Coffey, Christian Dube
[Paper first received, June 2006; in final form, October 2006]

Summary. There is little consensus on where and how employment is decentralising in metropolitan areas. However, a number of key processes have been brought to light, and different cities have tended to display different processes: strong CBDs, suburban polynucleation, job dispersal, scattering, edgeless cities and perhaps ‘keno capitalism’. This paper explores the distribution and growth of employment at a fine spatial scale. It is shown that, at this scale, there are very dynamic processes of growth and decline throughout metropolitan areas, but that these processes are organised at a wider scale by stable employment centres and by links between these centres. The structures and processes thus revealed suggest that the spatial economy of metropolitan areas should be approached as a chaotic system. From an empirical perspective, this means that, depending on the scale of analysis and the way data are considered, polynucleation, dispersal and chaos are all observed: this may partly explain the lack of consensus in the literature. The only process not evident within Canadian cities is scattering, but this process may in fact be occurring within some areas identified as suburban employment zones.

Introduction Interest in the location of employment within North American metropolitan areas, and the resulting spatial form of the latter, has been growing since the late 1980s and early 1990s when the phenomenon of intrametropolitan employment decentralisation began to receive considerable attention in both academic and public policy milieux. Important contributions by Gad (1985), McDonald (1987), Cervero (1989), Hartshorn and Muller (1989), Garreau (1991), Stanback (1991) and Giuliano and Small (1991), among others, called attention to the relative, and sometimes absolute, decline of many CBDs as centres of employment and the corresponding rise of ‘suburban downtowns’ or ‘edge cities’. The ensuing set of research (for example, Cervero and Wu, 1997; Forstall and Greene, 1997; Bogart and Ferry, 1999; McDonald and Prather, 1994; McMillen and McDonald, 1997, 1998; Gad and Matthew, 2000) extended the range of metropolitan areas examined and refined methods for identifying suburban downtowns. In addition, several authors (Fujii and Hartshorn, 1995; Gordon and Richardson, 1996) began to question the relevance of the suburban downtown phenomenon, arguing that it was perhaps only a transitory state in

´ and Re ´ my Barbonne are in INRS—UCS, 385 Sherbrooke east, Montre ´ al, Quebec H2X IE3, Richard Shearmur, Christian Dube Canada. Fax: 514 499 4065. E-mails: richard.shearmur@ucs.inrs.ca; christian.dube@ucs.inrs.ca; and remy.barbonne@ucs.inrs.ca. ´ partement de Ge ´ ographie, Universite ´ de Montre ´ al, C. P. 6128, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montre ´ al, Quebec William Coffey is in the De H3C 3J7, Canada. Fax: 514 343 8008. E-mail: william.coffey@umontreal.ca. 0042-0980 Print/1360-063X Online/07/091713 –26 # 2007 The Editors of Urban Studies DOI: 10.1080/00420980701426640

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the evolution of a more dispersed intrametropolitan employment geography—‘scatteration’. More recently, this latter approach has culminated in the concept of the ‘edgeless city’ (Lang, 2003), a highly dispersed metropolitan form. In a series of previous papers (Coffey and Shearmur, 2001a, 2001b, 2002; Shearmur and Coffey, 2002a, 2002b; Shearmur and Alvergne, 2002), we have contributed to the analysis of the intrametropolitan spaceeconomy, both methodologically and by extending the range of cities examined to include the Canadian and French contexts. In the present paper, we attempt to extend our analyses and to contribute to the more recent debate concerning the nature of the evolving spatial structure of employment in North American metropolitan areas. The present analysis extends our previous research in three ways. First, our data cover the more recent 1996– 2001 period, one of rapid employment growth in Canadian cities. Secondly, we employ a finer set of spatial units than was possible in our previous research; this, in turn, has enabled us to refine our methodological approach. And, finally, our conceptual approach is considerably broader than was the case in our previous analyses; rather than seeking simply to identify ‘employment centres’, our goal is to identify and to achieve a better understanding of the spatial structure of employment in Canada’s three largest metropolitan areas. Our principal point is that the intrametropolitan spaceeconomy is much more complex than either the ‘edge city’ (polycentricity) or ‘edgeless city’ (scatteration) approaches appears to acknowledge. Before presenting our data and methodology, and then our empirical results, we first examine in more detail the issue of the spatial form of the intrametropolitan spaceeconomy. The Intrametropolitan Geography of Employment There is a general consensus in the literature that employment has been decentralising

within North American metropolitan areas. The relative proportion, and sometimes even the absolute number, of metropolitan jobs located in the CBD has been steadily declining. The CBD is no longer the sole (or even, necessarily, the principal) locus of metropolitan employment; the monocentric model of metropolitan spatial form now appears to be a relic of the past. A point concerning which there is much less consensus, however, is the spatial form of the decentralisation that is occurring. As noted briefly in the preceding section, during the past two decades, much emphasis has been given to the ‘edge city’ or ‘suburban downtown’ phenomenon—the reagglomeration of decentralising employment in employment centres outside the CBD. According to this literature, a new wave of suburbanisation involving high-order services or front-office functions, which began to manifest itself in the early 1980s, has profoundly modified the space-economy of North American metropolitan regions. The economies of certain suburban areas have become increasingly large and diversified, and have developed agglomeration economies of a sufficient force to attract the types of activities formerly found uniquely in the CBD. In particular, this growth has concentrated, and is continuing to concentrate, in a limited number of ‘suburban employment centres’ (Cervero, 1989), ‘suburban downtowns’ (Hartshorn and Muller, 1989; Gad and Matthew, 2000), ‘magnet areas’ (Stanback, 1991), or ‘edge cities’ (Garreau, 1991), which are increasingly in direct competition with the CBD for the location of high-order service functions. In certain North American metropolitan areas, the CBD has been able to maintain its traditional economic role and importance; in others, growth is now shared between the CBD and suburban agglomerations; in others still, the CBD is losing ground to edge cities. Thus, North American metropolitan areas appear to have entered into a new phase of spatialeconomic development. Due to employment decentralisation, most North American metropolitan areas are now characterised by multinucleated or polycentric economic

2000. edgeless cities account for two-thirds of the office space found outside the CBD and for nearly twice the office space found in edge cities. but also suggest that these are moderated by the inhospitability of the suburban environment to pedestrians. This issue forms a central theme of our empirical analysis. just when urban researchers have begun to devote considerable attention to polycentricity. it would appear that the intrametropolitan geography of employment is much more complex than either the polycentric or scatteration approaches. urban form has perhaps moved beyond this phenomenon. Gordon and Richardson (1996) demonstrate that in Los Angeles. 2006. In his study of 13 US metropolitan areas. highlight the presence of agglomeration economies. the appearance of a small number of employment centres or edge cities in a metropolitan area underscores the important role played by agglomeration economies. particularly in Toronto (Charney. 2005). suggest that such scattering can be theorised as ‘keno capitalism’—an increasingly random and chaotic organisation (or disorganisation) of urban space under the influence of global capital and mobile communication technologies.’s (2000) observations). and more fundamentally. In the case of Atlanta. raises another issue. Lang (2003) has conceptualised this generalised dispersion as the formation of ‘edgeless cities’—a form of sprawling office development that is characterised by neither the density nor the relatively clear boundaries of edge cities. In the major Canadian cities. More recently. Shearmur and Coffey. he finds that. On the other hand. Dear and Flusty (2001). only 12 per cent of jobs were located in such centres. Fujii and Hartshorn (1995) have found that. as suggested by Charney (2005) for Toronto. in 1990. in their survey of workers in Toronto suburban centres. do these two seemingly contradictory processes operate simultaneously within a given metropolitan context? If the latter is the case. Indeed. one or more of these suburban centres now has a larger share of high-order office employment than that found in the CBD. Data and Methodology Data The data used in this analysis are 1996 and 2001 census data by place of work covering the census metropolitan areas (CMAs) of . Other authors have observed a different form of decentralisation—‘scatteration’. in 1999. Thus. over the period 1970– 90. not only would the two processes be more correctly viewed as complementary rather than contradictory. (2000). although large suburban office centres are emerging. rather than the reagglomeration noted above.INTRAMETROPOLITAN EMPLOYMENT STRUCTURE 1715 structures. the CBD retains a prominent role (Filion and Gad. The distinction between polycentricity and scatteration is a significant one in terms of what it has to tell us about the role of agglomeration economies at the intrametropolitan scale. In many metropolitan areas. the generalised dispersion of employment at relatively low densities. in turn. appears to recognise. Similarly. Are polycentricity and scatteration simply successive stages in the evolution of the intrametropolitan geography of employment or. building upon this type of observation. This latter observation by Gordon and Richardson (1996). individually. rather. Gad and Matthew. the polycentric versus scatteration issue is very important from both practical and theoretical perspectives. Gordon and Richardson (1996) observe that. much employment remains scattered throughout the remaining zones of the metropolitan area. Filion et al. such a multinodal structure reinforces the idea that there are distinct advantages to economic activities being located in spatial proximity. On the one hand. the appearance of generalised dispersion suggests that the advantages (largely involving the facility of face-to-face contact) accruing to economic activities that locate close to one another in space are now diminishing (which is also partly in keeping with Filion et al. but also. while some office jobs have concentrated in employment centres. the proportion of jobs in employment centres actually fell. 2002a).

the unit of analysis that we have used in our previous studies. a few suspicious cases remained—about 50 or so in each CMA— where contiguous EAs had very similar (but opposite in sign) employment changes. Such a conceptualisation rests upon two basic and well documented theoretical understandings of city form. but dissemination areas (DAs)— roughly equivalent. It should be emphasised that. reducing the number of spatial units available. In the first stage. the idea of a polycentric city. has long served as a starting-point for understanding the geography of metropolitan areas.1716 RICHARD SHEARMUR ET AL. the whole university appears to have shifted from one EA to another between 1996 and 2001. growth and decline observed in the subsequent analysis are by and large ‘real’ and not an artefact of the coding. after discussions with Statistics Canada and analysis of the data. when a boundary between two EAs intersected a block face employment was arbitrarily assigned to one or other EA. often census tracts or transport analysis zones: EAs provide a much finer level of spatial discrimination and one of the primary aims of this article is to explore the extent to which these fine-grained data add to our understanding of intrametropolitan employment location and growth. but different. They are compact spatial units.5 and 1. depending on the exact location assigned to people working at the University of Quebec in downtown Montreal. For example. and their boundaries follow visible features such as streets and rivers when possible: the number of dwellings in an EA generally varies between a maximum of 650 in CMAs to a minimum of 125 in rural areas. Methodology Our study proceeds in two stages. and highlights the fact that employment location at such a fine scale is actually somewhat uncertain. After these various manipulations. and as modelled by Alonso (1964). On the other hand. this is due to employment geocoding inconsistencies by Statistics Canada between 1996 and 2001. However. 4658 in Toronto and 2034 in Vancouver. first formalised by Harris and . Toronto and Vancouver. but areas where some actual job gain or loss has occurred will still appear. Having said that. we do not think that these coding errors are too widespread.5) are merged. It is this type of error that we have sought to correct: all contiguous EAs where employment gain/loss of over 500 jobs is noted (and where the ratio of gain to loss is between 0. straightforward shifts between EAs are smoothed. On the one hand. Enumeration areas are the basic building-blocks of census tracts. the 2001 spatial classification is no longer EAs. In our data. Because of the uncertainty surrounding which EA the employment is actually in. even after these merges. These data have been chosen because most previous work on intrametropolitan employment location has been conducted using larger units. their workplace could conceivably be in any of two or three EAs. In some cases. On the one hand. Montreal. We conceptualise the city as consisting of a CBD and of a number of other—suburban— employment zones. The primary spatial unit of analysis is the enumeration area (EA). The basic uncertainty surrounding the exact location of employment at the EA level must be borne in mind throughout this analysis. 5598 in Toronto and 2645 in Vancouver. we build upon our previous work and identify employment zones in the three cities. 3732 EAs are available for analysis in Montreal. however. we have merged EAs in each of these cases. as indicated below. of which there are 4733 in Montreal. the EA place of work data are problematic for two reasons. although their exact extent is unknown. Although Statistics Canada recoded the 2001 data to the 1996 EA boundaries using 2001 block faces. we are confident that most of the errors introduced by Statistics Canada’s geocoding inconsistencies have been corrected and that the shifts. usually—in urbanised areas—comprising a few blocks at most. units. the monocentric city as observed by Burgess (1925). presumably because the EA to which it has been assigned has changed. In this way. On the other hand.

We also identify some secondary and isolated employment zones that do not meet our definition of major employment zone but that meet the criteria necessary for inclusion in the frame. or linked. The number 500 has been chosen as a threshold in this study for two reasons: first. or indirectly via other fringe EAs. employment zones are classified into six types. and to identify secondary and isolated employment zones. to separate the CBD fringe from the fringes of other major zones. the EA beyond becoming part of the major zone fringe). contiguous. In addition to this basic conceptualisation. coded 9 in Figure 1. by conceptualising the city as polycentric.INTRAMETROPOLITAN EMPLOYMENT STRUCTURE 1717 Ullman (1945/1970). 500 is close to the optimum. The threshold of 5000 corresponds to a break in the size distribution of EAs in all three cities. or linked. —3. an employment zone is a zone that tends to attract workers from the outside. each with between 500 and 5000 jobs. In Toronto. In order. First. in all three cities. To be classified as an employment zone (core or frame). since they are defined relative to the CBD and to suburban centres: thus. —2b. we also identify areas outside employment centres to which jobs may be dispersing. cuts have been made at EAs with between 500 and 2500 jobs (the EA where the cut occurs becoming part of the CBD fringe. where necessary. —The remaining zones are non-employment zones. To distinguish the core from the frame. job density levels. to the CBD core. employment zones capture over 70 per cent of all jobs in each CMA whilst including 10 –12 per cent of EAs (Table 1). to a major zone core. or fringe. the ratio of employment to resident workers (the E/R ratio) must be superior to one. In order to operationalise these concepts. Major zone core: EAs outside the CBD with over 5000 jobs. that meet the 1a or 2a criteria. —4. a threshold in this vicinity enables a clear majority of jobs to be captured in all three cities (between 71 and 77 per cent of them). Major zone fringe: EAs with 500 to 5000 jobs.1 Given such criteria. This criterion is included in order to clarify our observations and to limit our analysis to areas with a significant number of jobs. 1998). certain classification criteria have been determined. etc. In Montreal.) and the necessity for such thresholds has been discussed in Coffey and Shearmur (2001a). They suggest that employment concentrations in cities consist of a densely developed ‘core’. Secondly. Our city thus imagined is illustrated in Figure 1. CBD fringe: EAs with between 500 and 5000 jobs contiguous. The CBD and major zone cores are sets of contiguous EAs. in terms of jobs per EA. total employment must be greater than 500 workers. Each of our major employment zones is thus divided into a core and a frame. All attempts to identify employment zones establish certain thresholds (whether these thresholds be deviations from a density gradient. Thus. has become a key way of understanding late 20th century cities (Yeates. surrounded by a more diffuse employment zone which they call a ‘frame’. there is a clear break between EAs with fewer than 5000 jobs (the highest being 4615) and those with more (the lowest being 5145 jobs). These two complementary building blocks form the basis of our classification of employment zones and from them it is possible to assess whether it is the CBD or suburban centres that are tending to grow faster. or individual EAs. CBD core: EAs in the CBD with over 5000 jobs. we also draw upon the core–frame structure described by Horwood and Boyce (1959). —1b. a break occurs between 5205 and . —2a. Secondary employment zones: groups of contiguous EAs. contiguous to a core. secondly. given the area in which we are searching for a cut-off. an EA must meet two criteria. Isolated zones: single EAs with between 500 and 5000 jobs. Fringe zones are directly. illustrated in Figure 1 —1a. Processes of ‘scatteration’ and ‘edgeless cities’ can also be studied within this framework.

Figure 1. . Toronto and Vancouver.1718 RICHARD SHEARMUR ET AL. Classification system for enumeration areas (EAs) in Montreal.

which is identical to Table 2 except that the definition of employment zones and non-employment zones is accomplished using 2001. In doing so. 2000)—all of which tend to emphasise agglomeration. Indeed. 1999. the first part of our analysis leads us to question whether it is possible to state clearly whether dispersion or polarisation of employment is occurring. In all cities. rather than 1996. then in all three CMAs there has been moderate dispersal between 1996 and 2001 (Table 2). Gad and Matthew. we nevertheless propose some new ways to qualify and understand them. in the second stage of our analysis. Number of EAs and number of jobs classified as employment zones. The basic question we seek to address in the first part of the analysis is the extent to which employment has tended to grow in these employment zones. ‘edgeless city’ (Lang. to take a closer look at the actual shape of employment zones in Montreal. ‘nuclei’ (Dieleman and Faludi. ‘employment centre’ (Bogart and Ferry. above-average growth is observed in non-employment zones in all three cities. no break of a similar size occurs before reaching 6000 jobs and none occurs below 5000 jobs. that of employment decline in isolated zones (some of which change their status to non-employment zones) and the growth of employment in non-employment zones (some of which change their status to different types of employment zones). data. 2003) and ‘exopolis’ (Soja. 1996). Without calling into question the definition of employment zones. It is also a departure from terms such as ‘scatteration’ (Gordon and Richardson. Employment growth and decline are analysed relative to these six types of employment zone. The choice of the term ‘employment zone’ to describe areas of the CMA where employment (and hence economic activity) tends to locate is deliberate and is a departure from terms such as ‘employment pole’ (Coffey and Shearmur. 1998). and in Vancouver between 5265 and 5615. isolated zones tend to decline and secondary zones and major zone fringes grow more slowly than the CMA as a whole. 2001b). 1998). we reconceptualise the classification introduced above (a classification that closely mirrors that in our previous work—see Figure 1). the CBD fringe and the core major zones grow faster than the CMA. In all cities. 2001a. the numbers in Table 2 hint at an interesting phenomenon. 1991) and ‘suburban downtown’ (Stanback. then carried backwards to 1996. When employment zones are defined at the beginning of the period (using 1996 data). 2001 EAs City Montreal Toronto Vancouver Number 448 474 245 Percentage of total 12 10 12 Number 1 133 800 1 769 845 620 780 Jobs Percentage of total 73 77 71 5540 jobs. 1992) that tend to imply sprawl in one form or another. Freestone and Murphy. the fact that there have been changes in the composition of employment zones is evident from Table 3. Notwithstanding these clear results. According to this table—in which employment zones are defined at the end of the period—there has been agglomeration of employment in and around all types of employment zones . 1991. In order to use the same threshold in each city—and to be as inclusive as possible—the 5000 threshold is retained. Indeed. Similarly. only in Toronto does the core CBD outperform the CMA as a whole. This leads us. Agglomeration and Dispersal of Employment If the dispersal of employment is defined as employment growth outside employment zones.INTRAMETROPOLITAN EMPLOYMENT STRUCTURE 1719 Table 1. Growth. or has tended to disperse throughout the CMA. Despite growing in all cities. ‘edge city’ (Garreau.

7 32.3 1 436 735 2001 11.4 20.2 18.5 18.1 6.0 4.2 10.7 33.8 2 334 150 Percentage growth 1996 –2001 20.1720 Table 2.5 25.4 16.2 3.1 0.4 Toronto Percentage of total jobs 1996 12.7 4.0 14.1 8.4 Vancouver RICHARD SHEARMUR ET AL.4 2 005 225 2001 12.8 19.9 25.0 16.5 4.8 20.2 2 11.0 18.6 12.9 14. core Major zones. Employment and growth (1996–2001) of employment zones as of 1996 Montreal Percentage of total jobs 1996 CBD core CBD fringe Major zones.6 13.0 21.2 7.9 6. fringe Secondary zones Isolated zones Non-employment zones Total employment 1a 1b 2a 2b 3 4 9 CMA 12.9 .4 1 600 515 Percentage growth 1996 –2001 9.1 32.3 32.1 13.7 1.9 14.2 11.1 3.5 12.8 5. Percentage of total jobs 1996 7.2 817 375 2001 7.5 890 530 Percentage growth 1996 –2001 3.3 4.6 16.3 19.4 6.2 5.3 9.0 2.7 16.8 9.6 31.7 2 9.5 3.4 16.1 2 10.9 7.7 15.3 13.4 13.3 13.7 34.

4 13.1 817 375 2001 6.7 16.9 16.4 14.7 25.4 8.4 Toronto Percentage of total jobs 1996 13.1 13.8 2 0. fringe Secondary zones Isolated zones Non-employment zones Total employment 1a 1b 2a 2b 3 4 9 CMA 12.6 4.6 8.6 11.4 Vancouver Percentage of total jobs 1996 7.3 1 436 735 2001 12.2 21.3 4.7 4.1 2 3. Employment and growth (1996–2001) of employment zones defined as of 2001 Montreal Percentage of total jobs 1996 CBD core CBD fringe Major zones.3 11.5 24.9 14.9 2 2.3 8.5 24.9 23.2 33.9 1721 .6 2.3 20.4 2.8 5. core Major zones.2 21.3 9.4 26.6 19.3 20.4 2 005 225 2001 13.5 30.2 13.9 13.7 4.INTRAMETROPOLITAN EMPLOYMENT STRUCTURE Table 3.1 4.7 14.3 17.5 7.7 13.2 18.7 4.6 36.1 4.5 2.5 34.6 15.2 21.2 1 600 515 Percentage growth 1996–2001 12.2 2 334 150 Percentage growth 1996–2001 19.8 29.6 44.3 890 530 Percentage growth 1996–2001 4.6 29.7 20.2 33.9 2.0 28.3 8.

few are neighbours. The first item to note is the stability at the core of major employment zones and of the CBD. many of the fast-growing non-employment zones— those towards which employment has ‘dispersed’—are in fact very close to core employment zones. and most importantly. particularly Montreal and Toronto. In other words. it cannot be said that there has been a straightforward transfer of jobs between neighbouring EAs leading to an apparent dynamic process (but in fact reflecting the misallocation of jobs in either 1996 or 2001). a key element in this change is the large number of non-employment zones that have transitioned towards these fringe areas. Thirdly. in Toronto. Finally. this dynamic .1722 RICHARD SHEARMUR ET AL. certain elements lead us to believe that. although the dynamic process may be somewhat overstated in our data. It is therefore useful to go beyond these net employment figures and investigate the changes in employment zones between 1996 and 2001. growth and decline are not just observed in EAs that change status: Table 5 (to which we will return) shows that growth and decline are apparent in EAs of all status. one towards the CBD core. In Table 2. a large (but lesser) number of CBD and major zone fringe constituents have transitioned towards non-employment zone status. There has been some limited change in the composition of the CBD and major zone fringes. First. we have systematically smoothed out any sizeable apparent error. not just confined to EAs with small employment totals at the edges of the fringe. Growth of 11 – 16 per cent over 5 years is rapid and—in view of the hypotheses of scatteration. the declining EAs are included as part of employment zones—this gives the impression that between 1996 and 2001 employment has moved away from employment zones. only one constituent of the core has transitioned to the CBD fringe. only 2 of the 56 constituents of major zone cores have transitioned out. In Montreal and Vancouver. job dispersal and ‘keno capitalism’—more change could have been expected. although this is the case. the data have been screened and prepared with this problem in mind. however. (except for the Vancouver CBD) and a marked relative (absolute in the cases of Montreal and Vancouver) decline in employment outside employment zones. including stable core zones. Thus. when EAs that transition in and out of employment zone status are mapped concurrently. In Table 3. This is not altogether surprising. It can of course be argued that dispersal should be assessed relative to employment zones at the beginning of the period. Table 3 shows that this dispersal has not been haphazard: it has been sufficiently focused to create new employment zones. This growth. witnessed very rapid employment growth over the period. Secondly. Thus the process appears to be widespread and universal. It is primarily these numerous transitions to and from the fringes of the CMA’s principal employment zones that account for the differences between Tables 2 and 3. A key question is whether these transitions are just picking up data noise—Statistics Canada misclassifications—or are revealing a very dynamic process of job loss and gain at the edges of major employment zones and the CBD. In other words. the 1996 CBD core is included in the 2001 core. although all CMAs. although we have most probably not picked up all of the misallocated jobs. far from being dispersed. However. one towards the major zone fringe. Table 4 presents the transition matrices for the EAs of each CMA between the different categories of employment zone illustrated in Figure 1. a real process is being picked up. the growing EAs are included as part of employment zones—this gives the impression that between 1996 and 2001 employment has moved towards employment zones. In Montreal and Toronto. is in fact on the edges of core employment areas. Although it is not possible to provide a definitive answer to this question. and hence some dispersal has occurred (Table 2). the 1996 major zone cores are all included in the 2001 cores and. and in Vancouver. Similarly. the basic architecture of employment distribution in the three CMAs has not been fundamentally altered over the five-year period.

0 18.2 22.0 19.4 19.5 2.2 91.0 263.0 269.6 53.6 145.3 8.6 6.7 35.5 16.9 60.8 18.3 16.0 279.2 257.1 5.8 11.3 12.1 27.8 100.4 18.4 9.2 7.4 INTRAMETROPOLITAN EMPLOYMENT STRUCTURE 23.3 246.2 58.2 29.5 9.5 8.9 14.4 154.1 22.3 2 0.3 224.2 20.2 78.5 246.7 1628. 1996 –2001 Montreal Type 1996 1a 1a 1b 1b 1b 1b 2a 2a 2a 2b 2b 2b 2b 2b 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 9 9 9 9 9 9 All CMA Type 2001 1a 1b 9 1a 1b 2b 1a 2a 2b 9 2a 2b 3 4 9 1b 2a 2b 3 4 9 1b 2b 3 4 9 1b 2a 2b 3 4 Employment n 6 0 7 1 50 1 0 25 0 29 2 109 4 2 24 8 1 22 73 8 16 1 3 8 28 3 208 19 0 28 27 22 1996 174 525 4 915 4 580 80 015 720 281 835 24 040 6 875 150 335 3 100 3 525 18 605 17 175 4 500 40 825 95 160 9 975 14 580 1 070 3 245 7 060 40 460 415 690 6 780 2001 190 975 2 160 10 435 94 960 705 327 520 Growth Absolute Percentage 16 450 22 755 5 855 14 945 215 45 685 9.7 22.2 267.6 252.9 21.4 n 14 0 7 2 43 0 2 54 1 41 7 128 9 2 33 11 4 19 53 5 18 0 5 4 23 4085 18 1 33 18 18 Employment 1996 243 255 5 335 8 220 60 220 14 780 640 205 6 105 36 570 23 125 216 320 9 835 1 870 29 880 17 360 16 940 37 430 71 720 7 035 17 045 3 720 2 785 26 660 2001 291 945 1 620 12 595 72 820 Toronto Growth Absolute Percentage 48 690 23 715 4 375 12 600 20.2 261.5 21790 3545 945 5435 25725 235 2175 1905 2 80 6120 675 10725 7175 1925 73 155 226.3 235.5 97.7 221.8 7.9 22.7 103.1 87.0 1.1 146.0 25.9 9 875 25 150 10 500 21 330 6 770 18 060 1 436 735 1 600 515 480 615 517 430 6 055 19 480 375 6 480 11 465 27 130 5 445 13 340 4 855 18 415 2 005 225 2 334 150 1746 244205 250325 2 695 1370 0 17 7335 18060 22 7805 14980 8 3195 5120 817 375 890 530 1723 .0 136.1 1.6 26.3 10.Table 4.2 27.8 240.1 127.4 37.1 22.4 256.4 n 2 1 6 0 19 0 Vancouver Employment 1996 58085 5065 3920 33065 2001 60540 4745 2100 40900 Growth Absolute Percentage 2455 2320 21820 7835 4.0 26.3 11. Transitions between types of employment zone.1 166.2 2 1.7 10 290 213 750 12 300 5 425 171 860 21 525 3 435 335 3 545 20 8 920 20 960 5 325 45 520 103 985 11 195 5 675 1 090 3 210 8 630 40 025 439 670 13 585 29 685 3 785 825 4 695 8 825 1 220 28 905 20 235 1 570 2 435 23 980 6 805 15 275 10 830 11 290 163 780 14 450 2330 782 785 142 580 4 620 21 485 23 735 212 835 43 315 20 190 243 230 26 910 13 490 3 655 1 730 2140 15 955 213 925 16 205 21 155 22 960 6 020 40 560 3 130 78 195 6 475 6 600 2435 5 565 211 480 4 440 3 285 31 775 720 500 5 115 36 815 13 425 6 105 15 665 7 895 13 560 328 925 0 16 153080 174180 0 16 14935 8925 7 30320 47900 53 92595 94015 0 0 10 0 3 7 63 0 11 1 2 7 15 6835 11915 12460 89945 9080 870 3185 11685 17100 5045 15460 13405 95380 3355 1105 3010 13590 17020 21100 26010 17580 1420 13.2 26.1 16.3 12.8 0.

the basic employment structures (core EAs. This type of churning. in micro areas.. at the fine scale of analysis rendered possible by the use of enumeration areas. we can achieve a better understanding of the nature of employment zones. Turning now to the secondary and isolated employment zones. particularly at the fringes where smaller concentrations of employment are found. In urban areas there seems to be a constant churning of growth and decline. the CBD) and others have declined (for example. if these structures vary—and they quite clearly do—they do so over the longer term and in an ordered way. on balance and in a net sense. studies of intrametropolitan employment distribution. In practice. even if employment is tending to grow in and around employment zones. identifying. etc. to the every-day functioning of a commercial property market. of a process of growth and decay. and across the entire intrametropolitan space-economy. In the next section. many. However. a hitherto little noticed phenomenon has been brought to light. we have analysed our data at the CT level. whether CBD core. if not most. Indeed. have demonstrated that general patterns of employment location are quite stable over time. By definition. in accordance with the accessibility. although most evident at the fringes of core zones. is in fact happening within all types of employment zone. Table 5 analyses only those EAs that have not changed status between 1996 and 2001. However. our results show that this is the result. The very rapid rates of growth and decline that are observed for enumeration areas moving into or out of employment zone status (Table 4) result from the smaller size of EAs that make the transition. process is commensurate with a theoretical understanding of the dynamic processes at play: there is a good reason for these numerous cases of growth and decline. this net result is the outcome of numerous start ups and numerous failures (Davis et al. at a finer scale of analysis it is impossible to be so categorical. for each EA type. So far. which has perhaps not been noticed because analysts tend to look at net employment growth over sizeable areas. even if. even if SMEs tend to generate employment. Thus. this process may be linked to establishments moving as they grow or decline. Thus. to developers building premises or converting spaces to different uses. 1996). which we will outline below. an interesting phenomenon is the move of many secondary . those EAs where employment has grown and those where employment has declined. Whether employment zones are defined as of 1996 or 2001.—in sum. at a higher scale (say at the census tract level). of growth and decline. employment and infrastructure needs of employers and employees. Similarly. including our own. a high level of instability is apparent. 200– 250 jobs (or the arrival of one) can lead to rates of growth or decline of 40 –50 per cent. similar conclusions are drawn in both cases: employment is tending to grow in employment zones and there is no evidence of generalised dispersal. the analysis has been conducted in the abstract space depicted in Figure 1. such stability has usually been observed at the census tract (CT) or transport analysis zone (TAZ) level. grown or declined. the general position of new employment zones relative to core areas) of a metropolitan area remain stable.2 However. Analysis at this scale hides the type of micro variation that shows up when enumeration areas are studied. more broadly. one can only say that certain types of EA have. say. they are fluctuating around 500 jobs.1724 RICHARD SHEARMUR ET AL. By observing the real space of Montreal in the light of this analysis of growth and decline. To verify this. we analyse a map of Montreal in order to reach a better understanding of the geography of employment zones. non-employment zones). one can safely say that certain areas have grown (for example. major core or non-employment zone.3 which means that the departure of a medium-sized establishment of. there are cases of both growth and decline. Our results at a finer scale are similar to those obtained by researchers who have analysed employment growth in small and medium-sized companies (SMEs): they have often pointed out that. For every type of EA.

1996–2001 Montreal Employment Type 1a 1a 1b 1b 2a 2a 2b 2b 3 3 4 4 9 9 Total Decline Grow Decline Grow Decline Grow Decline Grow Decline Grow Decline Grow n 1996 2001 Growth Absolute Percentage 28 395 24 845 25 065 20 010 2495 46 180 26 110 27 635 26 350 15 175 24 540 4 105 223 18 220 37 22 18 212 28 215 28 223 19 241 66 n Employment 1996 2001 Toronto Growth Absolute 2575 49 265 22 615 15 215 21 870 144 450 211 250 38 160 23 700 10 175 2335 5 450 Percentage 22 23 219 33 24 24 213 29 214 23 27 25 242 69 n 1 1 5 14 Employment 1996 12 210 458 75 740 5 256 60 2001 12 060 48 480 6 925 33 975 Vancouver INTRAMETROPOLITAN EMPLOYMENT STRUCTURE Growth Absolute Percentage 2150 2 605 2480 8 315 21 095 22 195 28 990 10 410 25 095 10 530 21 905 1 825 21 6 26 32 24 18 213 45 212 22 221 23 236 52 2 36 010 27 615 4 138 515 163 360 15 35 25 280 54 735 20 215 74 745 2 29 970 29 395 12 213 285 262 550 12 31 13 915 46 305 11 300 61 520 3 24 465 23 970 22 257 370 303 550 37 50 890 44 780 72 99 445 127 080 29 44 13 15 41 080 54 080 19 365 21 095 34 730 69 255 14 825 25 200 5 45 785 43 915 49 594 420 738 870 49 86 075 74 825 79 130 245 168 405 23 30 6 17 27 395 44 325 4 850 21 810 23 695 54 500 4 515 27 260 4 29 060 27 965 12 124 020 146 215 31 69 425 60 435 22 23 170 33 580 31 32 7 8 41 055 48 890 9 070 8 030 35 960 59 420 7 165 9 855 Decline 1 205 234 055 138 905 295 150 Grow 2 003 181 635 300 765 119 130 3 499 1 375 266 095 155 460 2110 635 2 710 214 520 361 970 147 450 4 400 682 137 210 87 450 249 760 1 064 106 995 162 875 55 880 1 914 1725 . Growth and decline amongst EAs that do not change status.Table 5.

with big box stores facing onto the road and residences immediately behind. we will comment upon certain key features. Although such an analysis is in no way rigorous. Also evident on this map are two smaller linear zones. and the fact that certain minor breaks do appear. Only our local knowledge. Two processes. ‘edge cities’ implies a compact. both illustrating a certain type of concentration of employment. employment in some EAs within secondary zones has risen to over 5000. which heads . this linear zone. In Varennes in particular. nodal type of development. a city we have chosen as an example because it is one that we are familiar with. Far fewer EAs make the reverse transition from major fringe to secondary or isolated status. Rather than analyse the map as whole. Here. we note that there is a low number of jobs per kilometre of highway5 and we know that the area is largely agricultural with a few buildings scattered along the highway. Very few of the zones identified on the map are of a compact shape. Highway 40. geographical ‘links’ are being created between secondary zones and major zones. We now turn to the actual geography of employment zones in Montreal. Key Features Edgeless cities. thereby transforming the secondary zone into a major zone with its own fringe. The Geography of Montreal Employment Zones We have. highway 15. which crosses Montreal island from south-west to north-east. The south-east to north-west St Laurent axis. On the other hand. analysed data that have been classified. The Varennes zone follows highway 30. secondary and isolated zones are in a lighter shade. in the three CMAs. enumeration areas to major fringe status (Table 4). To some extent. dividing employment along highway 40 into discrete employment zones is artificial. non-core. itself derived from previous theorisation and studies of employment location. Finally. lead to this. Linear zones. thereby annexing the secondary zones to the major ones:4 some of the EAs transitioning from non-employment to employment status are located in such a way as to bridge the gap between the geographically isolated and the major zones. Figure 2 shows core EAs in a dark tone. so far. but does not obliterate. In the southern suburbs. each following one of the highways. which is the historical backbone of Montreal’s spaceeconomy. By combining detailed origin-destination survey data with indicators such as jobs per km of road. the proximity of retail employment and suburban housing attenuates. has enabled us to separate out the various different types of employment zone along this road. The vocabulary of ‘poles’. emerges clearly on the map and emerges more clearly still when the E/R criterion is relaxed (St Laurent is a road characterised by high employment and residential density). it suggests that further exploration is needed in order to assess whether either of these apparently very diffuse suburban poles meets the criteria suggested by Lang (2003) for edgeless cities. Indeed. ‘centres’. this is a major suburban shopping strip. rather abstractly. A cursory glance at the map does not reveal any edgeless cities (areas where employment has located in a series of isolated buildings along highways). too. On the one hand. we eventually hope to be able to qualify more rigorously the nature of employment location within these suburban employment zones. Both have highways passing through them and for neither do we have any information on the precise location of jobs within the large area. nor that they lie outside our employment zones. and the intersection of highways 30 and 20 appears to be the intersection of two linear zones.1726 RICHARD SHEARMUR ET AL. has four major zones and numerous secondary and isolated zones strung along it. This does not mean that they do not exist in Montreal. there are two suburban employment zones (Mirabel and Varennes) which cover large areas. since the entire length of the highway is an employment zone. according to the conceptual model in Figure 1. the Taschereau boulevard zone clearly emerges.

Montreal employment zones. 2001.INTRAMETROPOLITAN EMPLOYMENT STRUCTURE 1727 Figure 2. .

From there. These remaining zones. Measurement Error6 So far in this analysis.1728 RICHARD SHEARMUR ET AL. there exists an irreducible uncertainty not only with regard to the precise extent of employment zones. a ´ small non-core EA links it with the Marche Central. fringe EAs and certain secondary zones make this entire stretch of highway another major employment axis. possible edgeless cities. there is a standard error of 45. In other words. Going south-west from the CBD. Indeed. Figure 2 also underscores the fact that there are a small number of well defined core employment zones in Montreal around which the rest of employment zones are organised. Notwithstanding the possible existence of edgeless city phenomena and the related—although distinct—urban forms of linear zones and links between employment centres. This instability may be due to the chaotic nature of urban spatial processes at such a fine scale (and we believe that this is so). it is clear that a small number of core EAs structure the remaining employment zones. bearing in mind our more limited knowledge of these cities: naming employment zones with any degree of accuracy requires such knowledge. South-east from Marche Central. Whilst each of these zones is separate. in the previous section. but also—and perhaps more importantly in the context of this analysis—with regard to the qualification of transitions between employment zone and non-employment zone status. Figures 3 and 4. These links emerge even more clearly if certain employment zone criteria are relaxed or if other criteria are used (such as jobs per km of road). This concept can be distinguished from edgeless cities by the fact that the physical linking of employment centres is a key component of it. definite linear zones. but also the spaces in between. However. These core zones existed in 1996 and have not changed significantly (at least when analysed at the census tract level) since 1981. North-east from this major zone. or from the perspective of analysing the employment ‘status’ of EAs (Tables 4 and 5). This suggests an alternative way of conceptualising the distribution of employment in intrametropolitan space. Statistics Canada (2003) estimates that. a series of major zones—employment centres that also emerge when census tracts are used and that would be well recognised by most Montrealers—are linked together by secondary zones usually stretching along highways or major arteries. Employment centres and their fringes. links between major zones and stable employment core zones are all identifiable in these cities. Links between major zones. the Angrignon retail zone. However. We have chosen not to comment on these maps in detail. we have treated our data as if they were error-free except for the errors in geographical coding that we have to a large extent corrected by aggregating census sub-divisions where necessary. north-west from highway 40. display similar general patterns. which represent Toronto and Vancouver respectively. . itself very nearly linked to Anjou (along highway 40) and Laval (along ´ highway 15). also follow highways and principal arteries. our analysis suggests that between 1996 and 2001 these links have been developing and consolidating. the St Laurent linear zone links back towards the CBD. Whether from the perspective of geography (Figure 2). joins four major zones together along a distance of about 30 km. but also upon economically important physical links between these centres. some more fringe EAs link Angrignon with Ville St Laurent/ Dorval. In Table 4. but some may also be attributable to measurement error. for a count of 500 (our cut-off point for employment zones). It is no longer just the ‘edge cities’ and suburban centres that are important. whilst often linking core zones to each other. one that draws upon the concepts of employment ‘poles’ or ‘centres’. we document these transitions and conclude that there is considerable instability at the fringe of employment zones. a series of fringe EAs link the CBD with another major zone. Thus.

Toronto employment zones.INTRAMETROPOLITAN EMPLOYMENT STRUCTURE 1729 Figure 3. 2001. .

2001. Vancouver employment zones. Figure 4. .1730 RICHARD SHEARMUR ET AL.

Notxx: Probability that SD is not an employment zone in year XX  84. Secondly. errors in one direction will tend to be compensated by errors in the other. although measurement error certainly increases the noisiness in our results. as the number of transitions considered rises. 455 in 1996 or where ER .7 For each year—1996 and 2001—each EA is either certainly an employment zone. we are in fact slightly overestimating the probability of uncertainty for each individual transition. Key: DNK: Do not know. the EAs which are in the uncertain category. Note: Population: all SDs where ER . However. certainly not an employment zone. it most probably does not fundamentally affect their general thrust.2 per cent. eight possible types of transition are possible (the ninth one. or its classification is not known. 455 in 2001. Figures 2 –4 indicate. Transitions from and to employment zone status. 0. The table thus derived gives an idea of the maximum possible uncertainty attributable to measurement error (given our definition of certainty). From these three classifications. we have not attempted to estimate the way in which measurement errors for the ER ratio and measurement errors for E combine: since these two errors are not completely independent. Table 6 and Figures 2–4 show that.INTRAMETROPOLITAN EMPLOYMENT STRUCTURE 1731 Table 6. each transition is considered independently. EZxx: Probability that SD is an employment zone in year XX  84. 0.2 per cent. 84. for 2001. It is a maximum for two reasons: first. from ‘certainly not an employment zone’ to ‘certainly not an employment zone’ is omitted since we are not analysing EAs which have no chance of being an employment zone in either year). Very few uncertain EAs .2 per cent.938 and E .938 and E . In Table 6. each transition to and from employment zone status has been classified according to its level of certainty. 1996 –2001 Type Montreal changes Certain Certain Certain Uncertain Uncertain Uncertain Uncertain Do not know Toronto changes Certain Certain Certain Uncertain Uncertain Uncertain Uncertain Do not know Vancouver changes Certain Certain Certain Uncertain Uncertain Uncertain Uncertain Do not know a Change EZ96 and EZ01 EZ96 to Not01 Not96 to EZ01 DNK to EZ01 DNK to not01 EZ96 to DNK Not96 to DNK do_not_know EZ96 and EZ01 EZ96 to Not01 Not96 to EZ01 DNK to EZ01 DNK to not01 EZ96 to DNK Not96 to DNK do_not_know EZ96 and EZ01 EZ96 to Not01 Not96 to EZ01 DNK to EZ01 DNK to not01 EZ96 to DNK Not96 to DNK do_not_know n 329 48 54 31 38 21 53 17 369 57 56 23 42 21 40 13 181 27 30 13 24 10 22 8 E in 1996 909 375 44 755 15 875 16 495 19 045 16 935 15 505 8 400 1 395 785 53 480 16 230 11 040 25 300 24 195 13 625 7 700 510 030 25 230 10 175 6 420 12 795 7 710 11 145 3 995 E in 2001 1 038 595 16 220 50 035 25 195 12 230 12 455 26 570 8 380 1 672 830 24 345 63 260 17 960 16 195 16 420 21 325 8 140 571895 12 925 24 545 10 350 7 435 5 485 16 070 4 190 Growth 129 220 228 535 34 160 8 700 26 815 24 480 11 065 220 277 045 229 135 47 030 6 920 29 105 27 775 7 700 440 61 865 212 305 14 370 3 930 25 360 22 225 4 925 195 Sum by typea 191 915 31 060 2 20 353 210 31 500 440 88 540 16 440 195 This column contains the sum of absolute values by level of certainty. Probability that the SD is an employment zone . Bearing this in mind.

1732 RICHARD SHEARMUR ET AL. whilst introducing a level of uncertainty. 9): first. 1 113 825 jobs are in ‘certain’ employment zones. notwithstanding our use of the word ‘certain’ in order to simplify our exposition. We expected our principal contributions to follow from the increased level of detail permitted by analysis at the enumeration area scale.9 Such systems can be studied from two perspectives (Prigogine. two conclusions can be drawn. Despite this small area chaos. In interpreting our results. these uncertain transitions tend to cancel each other out: the net number of jobs (and the net number of EAs) involved in uncertain transitions is small. secondly. If only the certain transitions are considered. to apply this approach to the entire analysis in the preceding sections. from the perspective of individual members. whether a given EA will grow or decline over the next period and whether it will have employment zone status or not. and these will be discussed in the following section. The system . In our analysis. Our empirical results do provide some insights into evolving metropolitan form and its complexity. At most. one could assign a probability to each possible trajectory. First. uncertainty is mainly confined to the fringes of employment zones. Table 6 reveals that in each city a large proportion of EAs in employment zones remain stable. The first is uncertainty at the fringes of employment zones as EAs enter and leave employment zone status in a chaotic manner. in this article. Secondly. it is impossible to foresee which EAs will undergo a change in status. These conclusions are the same as those reached when errors were not considered. and the necessity of thinking in probabilistic terms. Discussion and Conclusion Some Conceptual and Measurement Considerations In beginning the research for this paper. Employment zones can more accurately be defined as fields of probability—with extremely high probability of employment zone status for the cores and decreasing probability of employment zone status as either ER. however. and 47 405 are in zones qualified as uncertain. Thus. from 8 per cent (in Toronto) to 16 per cent (in Vancouver) of jobs involved in transitions8 are involved in uncertain transitions. As can be seen from Table 6. However. at the beginning of a period. two types of uncertainty have been considered. More unexpectedly. From one period to the next. 1994. our intention was to document in greater detail the evolution of the metropolitan spaceeconomy in Canadian cities. 1994. a vast majority of jobs qualified as being in employment zones are in ‘certain’ zones: in Montreal in 2001. there is no absolute certainty involved in the identification of employment zones. by considering the probable impact of measurement error on our results. individual members are the EAs and their trajectories over time are not predictable: one cannot ascertain. This can be compared with the figure of 1 133 800 jobs in employment zones (see Table 1) if no account is taken of measurement error. the scope of measurement error is limited. Furthermore. and their geography. the consideration of measurement error does not fundamentally alter our aggregate conclusions at the metropolitan level. remain observable (although less clearly) even after accounting for measurement error. 2001). In each city. for instance. E or both get closer to the cut-off points. there is great stability in overall metropolitan structure. our analysis highlights some important conceptual considerations linked to measurement and scale of analysis. from the perspective of the system as a whole. are geographically isolated from certain EAs: in other words. the metropolitan space economy can be understood as a chaotic system (Prigogine. Manson. and there is also considerable churning—fairly large numbers of EAs gain or lose employment zone status over the period. and abstracting from any measurement error. p. and. The processes we describe in the previous section. Measurement error has greater impact if transitions are considered: between 1996 and 2001. It is not feasible.

1991) or dispersing (Gordon and Richardson. the fact that these considerations arise in a straightforward piece of descriptive empirical work has some wider theoretical considerations. in keeping with chaos theory.10 The consequence of measurement error is that it is impossible to know with certainty whether a particular EA has experienced growth or decline. Our experience in analysing these data is reminiscent of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle: the closer we have come to our object of analysis (ultimately. it is clear that employment grows fastest in ‘employment centres’. to which we will now turn. Although measurement error should come as no surprise. that there are no regular processes at work and that no conclusions can be drawn about what is occurring in Canada’s three largest cities. 1978. the less certain we are of our measure of employment. at the scale of census tracts. the more confidence we have in our measure of employment. the uncertainty principle as applied to our analysis would be: the more precise the measurement of location. Although change does occur at this scale. the effect of measurement error can be overlooked. however. Conversely. and whether—at a given point in time—it is an employment zone or not. Measurement error means that even for a given year our data do not enable us to be sure of the exact number of jobs in a particular EA. 2004). The second type of uncertainty revealed in our study is that attributable to measurement error. there is a tendency (albeit a relatively modest one) for employment to grow faster in employment zones. This can be attributed to the broader scale of analysis in most other studies: at the census tract level. it occurs along broadly predictable lines in an ordered fashion. there is great stability. the less precise the measurement of the phenomenon being analysed. Polynucleation is occurring in Canada’s three largest cities: if the 2001 employment zones are analysed. This does not mean. 1998) and the idea that measurement error exists is fundamental to all statistical analysis. 1996). we would like to analyse the point pattern distribution of jobs). dispersal should be measured taking the initial year as a base. as we take steps back and distance ourselves from our object of analysis (by aggregating observations over wider areas). for instance.INTRAMETROPOLITAN EMPLOYMENT STRUCTURE 1733 as a whole is the metropolitan area: at this scale. These two conceptual considerations are not new: many analysts have used chaos theory to model urban growth (see. Furthermore. and over whether the development of metropolitan areas is chaotic (Dear and Flusty. irrespective of the year chosen for defining the zones. Such measurement error is fundamentally different from uncertainty due to chaotic processes: even errorfree observation would reveal instability over time at the fringes of employment zones (as suggested by the ‘certain’ results in Table 6). despite apparent dispersal when one analyses the 1996 employment zones. Thus. for instance. few—if any—studies of the metropolitan space-economy have discussed its effect on results. Allen and Sanglier. 2001) or ordered (Shearmur and Charron. Dispersal is also occurring: strictly speaking. notwithstanding the unpredictable trajectories of each individual EA.. the enumeration areas towards which employment has ‘dispersed’ are predominantly contiguous to the fringes of existing employment zones. Finally. that different processes occur at different scales and that the choice of scale and of object of analysis will bring to the fore one or another of the apparently contradictory trends mentioned above. Our results seem to suggest that all of these processes are occurring at the same time and in the same places11 and generalise Charney’s (2005) whose analysis of Toronto’s office market leads her to conclude that clustering and dispersal can occur simultaneously within suburbs. Makse et al. However. It shows. It is undeniable that employment has been growing in areas . Empirical Results and Theory There has been some debate in recent years over whether employment has been polynucleating (Garreau.

there is little evidence of scattering. and case studies of small areas. Toronto and Vancouver or to their particularities. Montreal. for instance that. by looking at patterns beyond the city block using means other than casual observation. Further study—with alternative data sources—will be necessary to investigate this. At the enumeration area scale (that of a few city blocks). Their contention that there are no structures and processes operating at a wider urban scale is not. A key finding is that. as illustrated in Figure 5. Although Figure 1 remains a useful way of thinking about a metropolitan spaceeconomy. to the extent that edgeless cities are also a form of dispersal. First. our results qualify and refine our understanding of the way non-core employment zones are organised. then maybe some of the suburban employment zones we have identified should qualify as dispersed. as this implies that the dispersal is widespread across the metropolitan area. it can be seen that a number of rapidly growing 1996 non-employment zones have become isolated employment zones in 2001). Dear and Flusty’s (2001) contention that there are no organising principles to intraurban economic development appears to be justified. Given the large size of some of these employment zones (and the large size of the EAs they gather). At the unstable fringes of the CBD and major zones. it is only by drawing back from the enumeration area scale. little attention has been paid to the differences between Montreal. most of the 1996 non-employment zones that change status do so by joining a secondary zone or the fringes of the CBD and major zones. numerous EAs have declined and lost their employment zone status. 2001). At this scale. Rather.1734 RICHARD SHEARMUR ET AL. Although some employment growth is occurring away from 1996 employment zones (in Table 4. then it will necessarily have benefited from employment growth (Table 5). is organised around a small number of core employment zones. the similarities between them have been used to highlight some key aspects of employment location and growth within metropolitan areas. Taking a wider view. some EAs have declined and others have grown over the 1996–2001 period. isolated and non-core employment zones are located in such a way that they form links (which are sometimes continuous. many of these non-core zones constitute linear zones. However. These employment zones are surrounded by non-core zones which are organised according to two related principles. it is quite possible that dispersal could be occurring within areas we have identified as employment zones. it has done so . sometimes interrupted by nonemployment zones) between core zones. even within the (ostensibly) fastest-growing zones. This churning is particularly evident around the fringes of core employment zones and makes difficult any simple answer to the question: has employment dispersed or nucleated? Although both processes occur simultaneously. In this paper. employment growth is chaotic and the churning of employment between different EAs somewhat resembles the haphazard location decisions posited by ‘keno capitalism’ (Dear and Flusty. These processes and concepts are somewhat removed from our initial conceptualisation of metropolitan areas in Figure 1. will reveal only chaos—with some city blocks growing. It is therefore not possible to assert. others declining. clear structures can be seen. Secondly. Even amongst the stable core EAs of each of the three CBDs. supported. because an EA is part of a major employment zone core (the type of zone that consistently grows the fastest across the 1996–2001 period—Tables 2 and 3). whilst others have emerged as economic locations. however. outside the 1996 employment zones—and this could be called dispersal. they link major zones: secondary. there are pockets of growth and decline across the whole CMA. Casual observation of each of these three CMAs. Indeed. However. that coherent patterns and processes emerge. if it has to some extent dispersed. which are on the whole stable despite many micro-level fluctuations. for instance. even in a context of rapid growth (the late 1990s). our data do not support the idea that employment has scattered. following major highways and arteries. and given this evidence.

The metropolitan space-economy: some additional concepts.INTRAMETROPOLITAN EMPLOYMENT STRUCTURE 1735 Figure 5. .

On the other hand. E. K. J.d. CERVERO . BURGESS . CHARNEY . and is estimated to be 0. Notes 1. and we are not yet able to investigate fully the edgeless city phenomenon—we have shown that many apparently contradictory trends can be observed in a city without these trends being either contradictory or unstructured. pp. . Environment and Planning A. 467–484. stability and instability. W. a transition could also be due to changes in population (that may lead to changes in the ER ratio). R. We will return to this in the next section. (1978) Dynamic models of urban growth. pp. 29. G. M. R. and FERRY . Journal of Urban Affairs. 11. that for Montreal. pp. (1964) Location and Land Use. The percentages are the ratio of ‘absolute number of jobs involved in uncertain transitions’ to ‘all jobs involved in a certain or uncertain transition’. 2003). One-tail tests are used. Cambridge. C. They write that “many authors have stressed the existence of continuous processes of convergence and divergence. 1996. 265–280. 10. Boston. The number of EAs that change status because of changes in population or changes in the ER ratio is negligible. (1999) Employment centres in greater Cleveland: evidence of evolution in a formerly monocentric city. pp. We are grateful to an anonymous referee who raised this point. Results available on request. W. 1. 2099–2110. G. 45. evolution and revolution in every organisation”. W. Census tracts are large enough to absorb most of the ‘churning effect’. and SHEARMUR . R. I. BOGART . 37 –44. L. Journal of Social and Biological Structures. The standard error for the ER ratio is calculated using the estimation formula given in US Census (n. T. of course. in: R. Both these sources provide good overviews of chaos and complexity theory. 4. 9. p. 3. The lowest of the three optima has been retained. Finally. W. PARK .). 5. ‘Uncertainty’ is defined as being within one standard error of the cut-off point. below) the cut-off point for both the ER and the employment criterion.062. These results are available upon request. Urban Studies. and WU . enumeration areas allow more subtle spatial forms to be observed. (1997) Polycentrism. COFFEY . 6. consolidating links between core zones and on the fringes of these core zones.6 per cent for each criterion. BURGESS and R. a product of our methodology which relies on chains of contiguity (or lack of it) to distinguish the fringes from secondary and isolated zones. Thus. pp. As one increases the threshold in steps of 100 between 100 and 1000. MA: Harvard University Press. This noise is partly due to the day-to-day workings of property markets and firms within the city and partly due to measurement error: it is impossible to differentiate completely between these two sources of ‘noise’ and there is therefore an irreducible level of uncertainty. Such ‘annexing’ is. between 500 and 600 in Vancouver and between 600 and 700 in Toronto. and SHEARMUR . References ALLEN . ‘Certainty’ is defined as being at least one standard error above (or 8. and SANGLIER . Chicago. pp. P. CERVERO . ´ tart and Forgues (1995. (2001b) Intrametropolitan employment distribution in 2. E. giving a onetailed probability of error of 15. ALONSO . 27(5). 7. following highways. Although it is not completely negligible— the standard error in Canadian census data for a count of 5000 being 160 (Statistics Canada. 19) make a Thie very similar observation concerning organisations. R.1736 RICHARD SHEARMUR ET AL. Canadian Geographer. J. but also introduce a lot of ‘noise’ into the analysis. 371–386. MC KENZIE (Eds) The City. These numbers are in the ‘Sum by type’ column of Table 6. Theoretically. IL: Chicago University Press. (1925) The growth of the city. (2005) Reexamining suburban dispersal: evidence from suburban Toronto. commuting and residential location in the San Francisco Bay area. (1989) America’s Suburban Centers. although we can present no overarching results—we have not resolved the scattering versus polarisation argument. a key to making sense of these complex phenomena is not to lose sight of the scale at which processes occur and can be observed. COFFEY . (2001a) The identification of employment centres in Canadian metropolitan areas: the example of Montreal. W. 865–886. the largest increase in jobs per EA occurs between 400 and 500 in Montreal. 36. regularities are observed at the scale of the metropolitan area. MA: Unwin Hyman.

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