Source: adapted from A. Bertaud (2003) “Metropolitan Structures Around the World”.
Notable differences in population density gradients from the city center can be observed among a sample of world cities. For Asian and European cities, there is a steep gradient related to compact and relatively well-defined urban areas, while in North America, the density gradient is much less pronounced. Paris clearly shows up as a city with a strong center, while Los Angeles is a motorized city of relatively uniform density. In several cases, population density increases at the fringe of the central business district, implying that CBD is dominated by commercial and institutional functions that are not prone to residential uses. Others have higher densities at peripheral locations, underlining the presence of sub-centers.