Polycentric urban development and urban amenities: Evidence from Chinese cities

Abstract

The recent literature on the “consumer city” and the “love of variety” argues that the provision of urban amenities makes a city more attractive. Meanwhile, polycentric urban development has been highlighted by academics and policymakers as a sustainable urban development regime, although its purported benefits need to be further investigated. Against this background, this paper empirically examines the relationship between polycentricity and the provision of urban amenities in 309 Chinese cities. After controlling for the size, population density, wage, and human capital, this paper finds that a higher degree of intra-urban polycentricity is associated with a larger number of urban amenities. Additionally, when all the covariates above are held, a higher degree of intra-urban polycentricity is associated with a greater diversity of urban amenities. Robust checks show that these findings are consistent with different polycentricity indices and diversity measures. Finally, possible explanations of the relationship between intra-urban polycentricity and urban amenities are provided from both the producer and consumer perspectives.

Publication
Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science
Date