Empirical Identification of Intra-Urban Subcentralities: A New Methodological Approach with an Application for a Developing Country
We present a new empirical approach for identifying sub-centers within urban areas and apply it to the São Paulo metropolitan area (SPMA). We use geographically weighted regressions (GWR) to overcome the limitations presented by previous methods, which rely on previous knowledge of the employment distribution and use arbitrary threshold values and band sizes. We find three SBD in 2002 and only two in 2014, suggesting that SPMA is polycentric but presents only one business core that concentrates more than 90% of all employees working in an SBD. We apply the widely recognized method of McMillen and Smith (2003) to our database and compare the results. Our method is more conservative in identifying areas as sub-centers (SBD) and presents lower standard errors.