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A Framework for Exploring Urban Retail Discontinuities.

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A key area in the analysis of urban structural evolution is identifying discontinuities. Effective analysis could improve long‐term forecasting and provide a better understanding of how to steer an urban system toward a desirable future state. We use a simple aggregate retail model to demonstrate an algorithm for identifying discontinuities in model parameter space. Explorations of retailing in both Greater London and South Yorkshire in the United Kingdom illustrate how understanding a system's potential for discontinuity can provide insights for both policy makers and retail businesses. The Harris and Wilson model, described in the section so‐named, is used as a simple archetype to illustrate the new framework. This model can be developed in a straightforward way to incorporate further refinement. In “Executing the model and visualizing the results,” we describe a single model run and in “Investigating discontinuities,” we explain our framework for detecting and analyzing discontinuities. “Identifying discontinuities in the London retail system” shows the results of applying this methodology to the Greater London retail system, and in “Practical applications,” we explore the policy applications for this technique as related to the decline of town centers in the South Yorkshire retail system. Some concluding comments are offered in “Conclusions.”

Language: English

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London, London, WC1E 7HB, U.K.

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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