Correlating densities of centrality and activities in cities: the cases of Bologna (IT) and Barcelona (ES)

S. Porta, V. Latora, F. Wang, S. Rueda, B. Cormenzana, F. Càrdenas, L. Latora, E. Strano, E. Belli, A. Cardillo, S. Scellato

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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 'secondary' activities, i.e. those scarcely specialized 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, and that secondary activities exhibit a higher correlation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlanning, Complexity and New ICT
EditorsG. Rabino, M. Caglioni
Place of PublicationFirenze, Italy
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • planninh
  • architecture
  • cities
  • city planning
  • ict
  • centrality
  • density


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