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Using Micro-Geography Data to Identify Town-Centre Space in Great Britain

Author

Listed:
  • Paul Cheshire
  • Christian Hilber
  • Piero Montebruno
  • Rosa Sanchis-Guarner

Abstract

We often talk about 'Town Centres', but defining their location and extent is surprisingly difficult. Their boundaries are hard to pin down and intrinsically fuzzy. Nevertheless, the British government introduced very specific policies for them in 1996 - Town Centre First Policies (TCFP) - without defining them. The semi-official definitions introduced in 2004 did not cover Scotland, only England and Wales. Using a range of variables available for the whole of Great Britain that capture all the dimensions of 'town centredness', we start by replicating the definitions for England and Wales. Then, we use an alternative list of towns and cities and apply our estimated coefficients to predict their size. Our models yield high correlations between the semi-official DCLG values and our predicted values, so we then move on to identify Town Centres for all three countries of GB. Our method is a contribution in its own right but is also an essential step if there is to be a rigorous evaluation of TCFP since it makes it possible to compare changes in the 'policy treated' Town Centres of England and Wales with changes in the 'policy untreated' ones of Scotland.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Cheshire & Christian Hilber & Piero Montebruno & Rosa Sanchis-Guarner, 2017. "Using Micro-Geography Data to Identify Town-Centre Space in Great Britain," SERC Discussion Papers 0213, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0213
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul C. Cheshire & Christian A. L. Hilber & Ioannis Kaplanis, 2015. "Land use regulation and productivity—land matters: evidence from a UK supermarket chain," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 43-73.
    2. Paul C. Cheshire & Christian A. L. Hilber & Ioannis Kaplanis, 2012. "Evidence from a UK supermarket chain," Working Papers 2012/15, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    3. David L. Huff, 1963. "A Probabilistic Analysis of Shopping Center Trade Areas," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1), pages 81-90.
    4. Dolega, Les & Pavlis, Michalis & Singleton, Alex, 2016. "Estimating attractiveness, hierarchy and catchment area extents for a national set of retail centre agglomerations," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 78-90.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cuberes, David & Roberts, Jennifer & Sechel, Cristina, 2019. "Household location in English cities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 120-135.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    town centre; planning; retail sector; land use;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R52 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Land Use and Other Regulations

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