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Street centrality and the location of economic activities in Barcelona

Porta, Sergio and Latora, Vito and Wang, Fahui and Rueda, Salvador and Strano, Emanuele and Scellato, Salvatore and Cardillo, Alessio and Belli, Eugenio and Cardenas, Francisco and Cormenzana, Berta and Latora, Laura (2012) Street centrality and the location of economic activities in Barcelona. Urban Studies, 49 (7). pp. 1471-1488. ISSN 0042-0980

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Abstract

The paper examines the geography of three street centrality indices and their correlations with various types of economic activities in Barcelona, Spain. The focus is on what type of street centrality (closeness, betweenness and straightness) is more closely associated with which type of economic activity (primary and secondary). Centralities are calculated purely on the street network by using a multiple centrality assessment model, and a kernel density estimation method is applied to both street centralities and economic activities to permit correlation analysis between them. Results indicate that street centralities are correlated with the location of economic activities and that the correlations are higher with secondary than primary activities. The research suggests that, in urban planning, central urban arterials should be conceived as the cores, not the borders, of neighbourhoods.