Urban clustering, development similarity, and local growth: A case study of Canada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of urban clustering on the long-term patterns of urban growth is arguably two-fold: in sparsely populated areas, the presence of neighbouring towns increases the chances of facilitating local development due to inter-urban exchanges, while in more densely populated core areas, increasing clustering of the urban field reduces development rates due to inter-town competition for potential investors and migrants. In the present study, the effect of urban clustering on the patterns of urban growth is investigated for both centrally located and peripheral areas of Canada. Neighbouring towns in urban clusters of the country appear to exhibit similar levels of socio-economic development. However, when measured by different development indicators, inter-town development association differs in both nature and degree. In core areas, for instance, only population and housing variables appear to exhibit a strong spatial association, while that of employment-related variables - average income, and unemployment rate - is weaker. As suggested, this tendency reflects fundamental differences between the two groups of variables. While population and housing variables are associated with the clustering of residents in socially homogenous areas, inter-town development similarity in respect to employment-related variables is weaker, due to long-distance commuting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1287-1314
Number of pages28
JournalEuropean Planning Studies
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was carried out in the framework of the Canadian Studies Programme, sponsored jointly by the Israel Association for Canadian Studies and the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Canada. The present paper is based, in part, on B. A. Portnov & B. Wellar (2004), Development similarity based on proximity: A case study of urban clusters in Canada, Papers in Regional Science, 83(2), pp. 443–465. In a shorter form, the paper was presented at the 9th Jerusalem Conference in Canadian Studies, held 30 June–4 July 2002 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The author thanks Dr Moshe Schwartz, Social Studies Unit, Jacob Blaustein, Institute for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion, University of the Negev, for his valuable help in preparing the paper for publication.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


Dive into the research topics of 'Urban clustering, development similarity, and local growth: A case study of Canada'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this