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Cityscape: Volume 11 Number 3 | Chapter 6



Volume 11 Number 3

Immigrants in the Polycentric Metropolis: Centers, Housing, and Dispersion

Rolf Pendall
Rosanne Hoyem

As with the articles in this issue, this introduction reflects the views of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


The burgeoning literature on the settlement patterns of immigrants has not yet examined recent residential patterns of foreign-born populations in the context of local government geography. Yet local (municipal) government is an important arena for consideration of immigrant integration, political incorporation, and service delivery. This article explores the extent to which immigrants disperse across jurisdictions in three politically polycentric regions: the San Francisco Bay Area in the United States, the Randstad in The Netherlands, and Emilia-Romagna in Italy. Finding that dispersal is not consistently linked with city size in these regions, the article then explores the role of multifamily and rental housing, which consistently accompanies immigrant concentrations. To the extent that their entry into a larger number of jurisdictions offers a pathway toward political incorporation and integration, this finding suggests a role for inclusive housing policy across a wider range of city sizes.

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