Activity centre policy effects on employment clustering: a spatial study of job density in Melbourne, Australia
Abstract: This paper considers the spatial relationship between Victorian Government activity centre (AC) policies between 2001 and 2011, and employment clusters that have formed in the same period. The core inquiry is into whether employment clusters have developed in response to urban spatial plans, and more generally, whether urban spatial planning has been able to guide job growth in Victoria. The alternative is that urban spatial planning has not been successful in directing activity to ACs, nor stimulating the creation of nearby employment clusters. To address this query, we use an innovative clustering analysis tool that we developed for the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN). This tool allows us to identify employment clusters at the intra-urban scale for each census year. We then observe changes in job densities against ACs as they have been defined in government policy across the same period. The analysis both demonstrates the power of the clustering analysis tool and provides spatial evidence to support the efficacy of AC policies.