Distributed attraction: The effects of street network connectivity upon the distribution of retail frontage in the city of buenos aires

Martin D. Scoppa, John Peponis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


The City of Buenos Aires has a radial street plan, regular blocks, and a clear central place. On the basis of an analysis of the city’s GIS database, we show that measures describing the syntax of its street network have a significant relationship with commercial frontage density, over and above the impact of central business district attraction. These results are obtained while controlling for the effects of population and employment density, distance from public transportation stations, and zoning. Our findings support a hypothesis that emerges from recent literature, namely, that commercial uses are subject to the distributed attraction exercised by the street network, and according to the syntax of street network connectivity. Among the variables describing the street network, those that measure how direct the connection of a street segment is to the rest of the street network, have the greatest explanatory power on the distribution of commercial frontage density. Street width and the extent to which a street segment lies on the shortest routes between all pairs of potential origins and destinations (whether by metric distance or by direction changes), have less influence. Interactions between variables indicate that the effects of spatial syntax in determining the distribution of commercial frontage density by street segment are stronger when variables accounting for other attractors (population and employment density, proximity to metrostations or proximity to other shops in the surrounding area) assume higher values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-378
Number of pages25
JournalEnvironment and Planning B: Planning and Design
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Buenos aires
  • Land use
  • Space syntax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Architecture
  • Urban Studies
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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