Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


This dissertation examines the effect of space restrictions on the intraurban distribution of socioeconomic groups. It proposes that the centripetal income shifts evident in North American cities with suburban containment can be explained in part within the context of traditional neoclassical theory. A model is introduced to predict the residential location pattern in a metropolitan center when suburban land consumption constraints and a polycentric urban form are incorporated into the Alonso budget equation (Alonso, 1964). In this model two things happen to higher socioeconomic groups with a fixing of the size of new lots; the accessibility variable rises in relative importance and the demand is refocused on the existing supply of large lots. Geographically, the higher income groups shift inward.;The model, based on the variables of residential space, accessibility and income, applies block-level data (for the most part) for Metropolitan Toronto. Site area, floor area or a composite area value measures residential space; distance from the core or an employment potential calculation quantifies relative accessibility; and, household income or dwelling value represents the latter variable.;Based on different combinations of the measures, iterations of the model predict theoretical incomes. These values and their resultant spatial patterns are compared to the actual configuration. The goodness of fit and the applicability of the model's components are assessed using weighted least squares multiple regression and cluster analysis.;Empirical tests reveal that the representativeness of the predicted values are moderate when the metropolis is treated as an entity. However, analysis by socioeconomic sector indicates that the model's fit is much improved for the middle and upper income zones. When the predicted spatial patterns are compared to those of actual values, the quality of representation improves again. This is especially the case for the site area and composite area-based iterations. Further, examination of levels of similar accessibility shows greater revaluations for those cases with greater space. These results are significant at different levels of aggregation, and support the fundamental premise of the model. Overall, the model performs reasonably well.



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