Network Measures of Polycentricity

A set of flow and network-based metrics for measuring metropolitan area polycentricity using Journey-To-Work data are presented. Polycentricity is most commonly measured by location-based metrics (e.g. employment density). While such activity-density based metrics are good indicators of the “centricity" of a location, they fail to capture the idea that a center is a center based on which other locations it is connected to in terms of flows of people in and out of these locations: this is inherently a network idea rather than a location idea. The paper proposes three new measures of polycentricity: (a) a trip-based centricity measure, (b) a density-based centricity measure, and, (c) an accessibility-based centricity measure. Using these measures, polycentricity is computed and the resulting hierarchies of centers empirically measured to test whether the size distributions of centers follow a Zipf-like or a Chirstaller-like distribution. Demonstrating these measures on data from the Greater Sydney region, it is shown that these network-based measures, especially accessibility based centrality, characterize polycentricity more robustly than the traditional location-based measures and provide unexpected insights into the connections between landuse, transport, and urban structure.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee ABE30 Standing Committee on Transportation Issues in Major Cities.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

  • Authors:
    • Sarkar, Somwrita
    • Wu, Hao
    • Levinson, David
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2019


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References;
  • Pagination: 17p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01698328
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-01399
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 7 2018 9:52AM