Structure of Plot Systems and Economic Activity in Cities: Linking Plot Types to Retail and Food Services in London, Amsterdam and Stockholm

Evgeniya Bobkova*, Lars Marcus, Meta Berghauser Pont, Ioanna Stavroulaki, David Bolin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Plot systems (also referred to as “property”, “parcel”, or “lot”) are generally recognised as the organisational framework of urban form that contributes to the economic performance of cities. However, studies that link the spatial form of plots to economic data are limited. The paper builds on the theory of Webster and Lai, which argues that the process of urbanisation is aligned with increased subdivision of property rights (increased division of land into plots, for example) due to the process of economic specialisation that is typical of cities. The aim of the paper is to test this theory by analysing whether there is a correlation between: (a) the shape and structure of plot systems, which are classified as types based on three plot metrics (size, compactness, and frontage index) and b) economic activity, measured as the concentration of retail and food activities per plot. The paper will use statistical analysis to relate plot types to economic activity in three European cities (London, Amsterdam, and Stockholm). The results provide empirical support for our initial hypothesis and Webster and Lai’s theory, which states that plots of smaller size, more regular shape, and smaller frontage generally correspond to a higher concentration of economic activity in cities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number66
JournalUrban Science
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2019

Keywords

  • economic activity
  • economic specialisation
  • plot systems
  • plot types
  • property rights
  • spatial morphology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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