The polycentric knowledge economy in Barcelona

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This study focuses on the employment decentralization process in the Barcelona Metropolitan Region (BMR) between 1991 and 2001. Disaggregating employment data among four categories of knowledge-intensive activities (Knowledge-Intensive Services; High- Technology Industries; Producer Services; and Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate) and two groups of other employment (Other Manufacturing and Other Services), the aim is to test whether these four groups decentralized in a similar way to other employment, and whether this process encouraged them to locate in a polycentric or spatially dispersed pattern. The results show that knowledgeintensive and other employment activities decentralize in a similar way, although the former tends to be more concentrated through the formation of employment subcenters and therefore follows a polycentric location model. As a result, physical proximity is still important for numerous activities, especially those that incorporate more knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)774-799
JournalUrban Geography
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2010


  • agglomeration economies
  • employment scatteration
  • knowledge economy
  • polycentrism


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