A study on simultaneous centralized and decentralized urban growth

Lee Seok-Hee, Kang Myoung-Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Korea, a nation whose development is led by the state, has industrialized through the growth pole strategy intent on creating the raindrop effect. This effect was continuously expected throughout the selection and concentration method, and the concentration of population to growth pole has continued. However, from a mathematical view, the distribution of cities by Zipf's law shows that it changed from a concentrated pattern in some cities to a dispersed pattern. In other words, the growth of the cities and regions went through the process of centralization or decentralization based on the effects of the agglomeration economy. Therefore, in the economic growth of these Korean cities, this research tried to multilaterally analyse the dispute between centralization and decentralization of urban growth. The research results are as follows. First, the distribution of cities was decentralized from a mathematical view, but centralized from a spatial view. Second, the distribution of greater economic areas (GEAs) maintained a concentrated pattern from mathematical and spatial views. Last, the mathematical distribution of all cities intra-GEA was decentralized. So, both the centralization and decentralization processes of growth occurred in the cities at the same time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-70
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Urban Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Moran's I
  • Zipf's law
  • greater economic area
  • regional disparity
  • urban growth


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