Massachusetts Institute of Technology
This paper has two objectives. The first is to review a range of empirical evidence that suggests this vision of urban form is largely incorrect. Over time, in most cities, real estate rents and asset prices grow little more than inflation. In addition, recently released data on the spatial distribution of jobs (by place of work) suggest that firms and residences are remarkable well interspersed. The facts simply do not fit a "monocentric" model nor do they support its comparative statics with respect to growth. The second objective is to develop a very simply model of urban spatial structure that does fit these facts.