Street centrality and densities of retail and services in Bologna, Italy

S. Porta, V. Latora, Fahui Wang, E. Strano, A. Cardillo, S. Scellato, V. Iacoviello, R. Messora

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This paper examines the relationship between street centrality and densities of commercial and service activities in the city of Bologna, northern Italy. Street centrality is calibrated in a multiple centrality assessment model composed of multiple measures such as closeness, betweenness, and straightness. Kernel density estimation is used to transform datasets of centrality and activities to one scale unit for analysis of correlation between them. Results indicate that retail and service activities in Bologna tend to concentrate in areas with better centralities. The distribution of these activities correlates highly with the global betweenness of the street network, and also, to a slightly lesser extent, with the global closeness. This confirms the hypothesis that street centrality plays a crucial role in shaping the formation of urban structure and land uses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-465
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironment and Planning B: Planning and Design
Issue number3
Early online date14 Jul 2008
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • street centrality
  • multiple centrality assessment model
  • kernel density estimation
  • urban structure
  • land use

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