First Advisor

Nohad Toulan

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies




Clinics -- Location -- Oregon -- Portland Metropolitan Area, Ambulatory medical care -- Utilization -- Oregon -- Portland Metropolitan Area, Ambulatory medical care



Physical Description

2, vii, 127 leaves: ill. 28 cm.


Urgent Care Centers (UCCs) are a recent innovation in the American system of health care delivery. The number of UCCs has increased significantly in recent years. Many researchers point out that the rapid growth of UCCs is expected to escalate during the next few decades. This growth will create more competition among providers of these facilities in the health care market, and the competition could lead to an uneven distribution of UCCs within cities. While health officials and planners are interested in attracting more patients by expanding UCC services, they are often unfamiliar with the factors that go into site selection decisions. Understanding the factors influencing UCC location is crucial to explaining why UCCs cluster in certain urban areas, while other areas are under-served. It is also important for providers who want to enhance accessibility of special population segments to UCC locations. This study uses the Portland metropolitan area as a case study. Due to the lack of access to providers' propriety data, the specific problem targeted here uses publicly available data as a proxy for providers' data to determine the factors influencing UCC location. The essence of this research is to show how these factors explain and predict existing locations of UCCs and to find out how well this publicly available data explains UCC providers' locational behavior. Most of the data for this study is provided by Metro of Portland. Other data are collected utilizing surveys and data from different public agencies and published reports. Logit analysis is used to find out which factors explain existing UCC location. The empirical findings of this research substantiate the existence of a strong relationship between the location of UCCs and land use factors. This study highlights the complexity and importance of understanding the factors influencing the location of UCCs. It rejects prior arguments that UCC location is influenced by some demographic and socioeconomic factors, while it introduces land use factors as the major determinants of UCC location. However, this study concluded that land use factors influence considered a rare phenomena that should be carried out for future research and that demographic factors may still have an indirect effect on UCC location.


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