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Market Hierarchies Produced by Scale-Structure: Food Markets in the Third Ring of Beijing

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Food markets in Beijing are an important urban function for local inhabitants' everyday life. Particularly in redeveloped neighbourhoods, these markets typically serve as a vital place in the local community supporting additional shops and diverse social activities. Based on detailed mapping of all of the markets inside Beijing's third ring road from 2005 to 2009, this paper examines the relationship between the con figuration of movement networks of different scales and the sizes of these markets. The scale-structure can be de fined through a study of the hierarchies of movement networks, and topological connections calculated by space syntax software. This scale-structure can be used as a spatial model to reveal the distribution and vitality of these markets. Furthermore, through the rank-size analysis of food markets in different street patterns, this research suggests that the scaling law cannot be used as a support for the hierarchical spatial structure described by Central Place theory. Rather, at the large scale, it is the scale-structure of the movement networks which follow the scaling law. As the food markets are an emerging product of movement network, they also follow the scaling law.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2013

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  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.

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