Investigating the spatio-temporal changes in major activity centres in the Sydney metropolitan area

Alireza Salahi Moghadam, Ali Soltani, Bruno Parolin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Every assessment of urban spatial structure requires determining the importance of activity centres. This paper gives an attempt to analyse the spatial and temporal changes experienced by major activity centres in the Sydney metropolitan area. The objectives of the research were first, to explore the role of main activity centres on the distribution of job opportunity across the metropolitan area, second to find out whether or not these key activity centres were influential in making the Sydney's urban structure more poly-centric rather than being a mono-centric. It also estimates how accessible these activity centres are for the workforce and what their corresponding labour catchment areas are. Eleven activity centres were chosen based on the preliminary analysis of Sydney's planning and development documents and exist evidences on living and working spots. A number of analysing techniques such as mapping of journeys to work in these centres, influence circles of centres, employment preference functions, and tabular data on the levels of employment were applied. The results of the analysis show that apart from the CBD, North Sydney, Parramatta and Inner City the remaining activity centres appear to exert slight impact on employment distribution across the metropolitan area. There does not seem to be evidence for a significant polycentric structure in Sydney metropolitan area in regarding with employment recruitment, seeking and retention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-586
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Built Environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Activity centre
  • Regional planning
  • Spatio-temporal change
  • Sydney
  • Urban structure


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