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With the ultimate aim of informing planning policy about the most effective ways to organise urban spaces, this programme explores the economic effects of the internal structure of cities. Complementing the research conducted in our programme Evolution of Urban Systems, we are focus on identifying the drivers of the internal organisation of cities, and how differences in internal spatial structures affect the cities' performance.

Using administrative data and micro-data on establishments and workers, we aim to investigate the patterns of distribution and evolution of economic activities, and the effects of diversity in these patterns on local economic activity.

Drawing from studies on the location of cities as a whole, diversity in urban evolution is also addressed in the determination of prime and sub-prime locations within a city. Our research aims at verifying whether the key factor in the rise of within-city locations as leading centres of economic activity comes from physical geographical advantage or from historically persistent, self-reinforcing clusters. Another internal aspect analysed by SERC researchers entails the relationship between distance and the demand for financial services by businesses, delving into the role of constraints in the supply of lending in the co-agglomeration and agglomeration of industries. A key aspect of internal city development - spatial spillovers such as those from industry agglomeration within cities and within workspaces -- are explored with the use of RCT experimental data from tech incubators in London and other UK locations.

Related Publications

Distributive Politics Inside the City? The Political Economy of Spain's Plan E
Felipe Carozzi and Luca Repetto
February 2017 | Paper No' SERCDP0212

East Side Story: Historical Pollution and Persistent Neighborhood Sorting
Stephan Heblich, Alex Trew and Yanos Zylberberg
November 2016 | Paper No' SERCDP0208

The Geography of City Liveliness and Land Use Configurations: Evidence from Location-Based Big Data in Beijing
Chengyu Li, Mark Wang, Jianghao Wang and Wenjie Wu
July 2016 | Paper No' SERCDP0201

The (Displacement) Effects of Spatially Targeted Enterprise Initiatives: Evidence from UK LEGI
Elias Einiö and Henry G. Overman
February 2016 | Paper No' SERCDP0191

The Spatial Decay in Commuting Probabilities: Employment Potential vs. Commuting Gravity
Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt and Nicolai Wendland
November 2015 | Paper No' SERCDP0188

The Role of Education for Amenity Based Sorting in British Cities
Luisa Gagliardi and Teresa Schlüter
September 2015 | Paper No' SERCDP0184

The Vertical City: The Price of Land and the Height of Buildings in Chicago 1870-2010
Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt and Daniel P. McMillen
July 2015 | Paper No' SERCDP0180