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Appold, Stephen J. & Kasarda, John D. (2013). The Airport City Phenomenon: Evidence from Large US Airports. Urban Studies, 50(6), 1239-1259.


As air transport for leisure trips, business travel and goods shipment increased rapidly over the past several decades, the emergence of airport cities has been hypothesised. Busy commercial airports may be emerging as central transport nodes in large metropolitan areas, much as ports and rail terminals were in the past, anchoring employment servicing passengers, facilitating frequent travellers and providing a spatial focus for unrelated firms. An analysis of small-area employment data for the areas surrounding 25 major US airports and the related central cities reveals the concentration of employment within 2.5 miles of these airports to be substantial—approximately half that within 2.5 miles of the central point of the corresponding CBDs—and growing. The analysis refocuses a question about the nature of spatial differentiation within metropolitan regions supporting multiple employment nodes.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Urban Studies


Appold, Stephen J.
Kasarda, John D.