by Porta S, Latora V, Wang F, Rueda S, Cormenzana B, Càrdenas F, Latora L, Strano E, Belli E, Cardillo A, and Scellato S.
This paper examines the relationship between street centrality and densities of commercial and service activities in cities. The aim is to verify whether a correlation exists and whether some categories of economic activities, namely those scarcely specialized activities oriented to the general public and ordinary daily life, are more linked to street centrality than others. The metropolitan area of Barcelona (Spain) is investigated, and results are compared with those found in a previous work on the city of Bologna (Italy). Street centrality is calibrated in a multiple centrality assessment (MCA) model composed of multiple measures such as closeness, betweenness and straightness. Kernel density estimation (KDE) is used to transform data sets of centrality and activities to one scale unit for correlation analysis between them. Results indicate that retail and service activities in both Bologna and Barcelona tend to concentrate in areas with better centralities: in fact the spatial distribution of these activities correlates highly with both simple and compound measures of centrality. This confirms the hypothesis that street centrality plays a crucial role in shaping the formation of urban structure and land uses. Moreover, results suggest that a locational rule seems to link to street centrality those economic activities oriented to the general public.
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