Explore the web app on Employment Subcenters in Southern California (Job Density)

subctr_appClick here for a web mapping application that allows you to explore the changing dynamics of employment centers in Southern California.  This application corresponds to MFI’s Quarterly Report “Detecting Job Density Over Time.” Note: the webmap titled, “Employment Dynamics Across Southern California Cities” presents these same data but for cities rather than subcenters.

Explore the web app on Employment Dynamics Across Southern California Cities

This web mapping application ecitiesxplores job growth and localized employment specialization at the city level in five key economic sectors: business services, retail, industry, technology, and “creative” work.  Note: this webmap presents the same data as the “Employment Subcenters in Southern California” webmap, but for cities rather than subcenters. 

Read published research on Detecting Job Density Over Time


Kane, Kevin, John R. Hipp, and Jae Hong Kim. (2016). “Los Angeles employment concentration in the 21st century.” Urban Studies.


This paper is an empirical analysis of employment centres in the Los Angeles region from 1997 to 2014. Most extant work on employment centres focuses on identification methodology or their dynamics during a period of industrial restructuring from 1980 to 2000. We analyse employment centres using point-based, rather than census tract-based employment data and a non-parametric identification method with a single concept of proximity. We focus on changes across five key industries: knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS), retail, creative, industrial and high-tech, emphasising changes in centre composition as well as their boundaries. Results show far greater change across centres than previous longitudinal studies. Only 43% of the land area that is in an employment centre is part of one in both 1997 and 2014. Using a persistence score, centres range from stable to highly fluctuating, but emerging, persisting and dying centres are found in core and fringe areas alike. KIBS are most associated with stable centres, while high tech employment is attracted toward emerging areas and retail exists throughout. Emerging centres are more likely to have greater accessibility, while industrial employment becomes far more concentrated in centres by 2014.

Watch the video on Understanding Business Churning Dynamics and their Spatial Variation

Read the report on Understanding Business Churning Dynamics and their Spatial Variation

While job growth in a region is crucially important, the dynamic of business creation and business closure can reveal a lot about a region’s economy.  Does churning lead to “creative destruction” and a more efficient economy in the long-run or might it have negative consequences, especially in certain neighborhoods?  This report analyzes business churning at the neighborhood level across Southern California with an eye toward socio-demographic characteristics and local measures of well-being. Download the full report here.

Explore the web app on Understanding Business Churning Dynamics and their Spatial Variation

churn_appClick here for a web mapping application that allows you to explore the relationships between business churning, job growth, and clustering across Southern California.

Read published research on Understanding Business Churning Dynamics and their Spatial Variation

Peer-reviewed research based on the analyses in this Report will be published soon. Please return at a later date.

Understanding Neighborhoods – Featuring Professor John Hipp

Measuring the accessibility of neighborhood businesses amidst evolving residential development patterns

DrKaneMFISpring2016 (4 of 8)Dr. Kevin Kane evaluates the impact of building-level and neighborhood-level characteristics on the accessibility of neighborhood businesses to housing units using Long Beach, California as a case study.  While advocates of smart growth and New Urbanism encourage both mixed-use developments and land use mixing, analysis at the aggregated level can be too coarse to pick up on the fine-grained characteristics of urban streetscapes.

Second Regional Progress Report

mfi_cover_imageThe 2014 Southern California Regional Progress Report was prepared by researchers with the School of Social Ecology’s Metropolitan Futures Initiative, which aims to build a base of knowledge to guide policymakers in improving the overall quality of life in the Southland.  It is the second installment in a biennial series of Regional Progress Reports.

Continue Reading Second Regional Progress Report