Postindustrial manufacturing in a sunbelt metropolis: Where are factories located in Phoenix?

Breandan O'Huallachain, Timothy Leslie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Manufacturing establishments are integral to the spatial structure of fast-growing Sunbelt metropolitan areas, but most concepts and theories of intrametropolitan location were largely developed for an earlier technological era and different spatial contexts. This article investigates the location of nine disaggregated manufacturing sectors in Phoenix, Arizona, showing varying degrees of central core concentration and metropolitan-wide clustering. Distinct sectoral co-location patterns are also evident. We interpret our results as evidence that the intrametropolitan location of postindustrial manufacturing is best understood as a series of spatial distributions with varying concentration, centralization, clustering, and other order-based characteristics. There is little evidence that randomly scattered discrete industrial zones have developed nor that spatial patterns are uniform. Enduring lock-in effects tied to transportation infrastructure are pivotal to understanding the locational distribution of manufacturing industries in metropolitan Phoenix. Results do not support a hypothesis that a positive relationship exists between establishment size and distance from sectoral mean centers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)898-926
Number of pages29
JournalUrban Geography
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009


  • Clustering
  • Co-location
  • Concentration
  • Intrametropolitan
  • Lock-in
  • Manufacturing location

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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