Panel Paper: Urban Structure and Sustainability: Chicago and Los Angeles Metro Areas

Thursday, July 19, 2018
Building 3, Room 212 (ITAM)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Josep Roca and Blanca Arellano, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya

The specialized researches have proposed various approaches to the delimitation of metropolitan systems. At the same time it has developed an extensive research that has come to reveal the progressive trend of the metropolitan areas to the polycentrism. There is no doubt that the monocentric city paradigm, structured around a single CBD, is broken. This changes in the internal structure of many cities has extended the hypothesis that the polycentric city is more efficient than conventional monocentric city, from an environmental perspective. However, few efforts have been directed to address the three aspects together: a) the metropolitan boundaries, b) analysis of its internal structure, and c) contrasting the hypothesis of the environmental efficiency of polycentric/monocentric systems.

This paper addresses the challenge of defining an integrated method to delimitate metropolitan areas and their internal composition. The methodology developed of the Interaction Value simultaneously allows delimiting these two levels of urban structure: the metropolitan system as a whole and the subsystems articulated around sub centers. At the same time, the IV assesses the degree of polycentrism beyond the simple identification of sub centers developed in the literature. And, so, support the hypothesis that the polycentric city structure is more efficient, from an environmental perspective, than the monocentric. In this sense, and taking the cases of Chicago and Los Angeles MA as examples of different types of urban structure, the efficiency of their metropolitan systems will be evaluated from the dual perspective of land consumption and sustainable mobility.