An analysis of commercial structure along a major traffic artery in Winnipeg : a case study of Portage Avenue

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Ling, Peng-Tong
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The era of the automobile has brought about drastic changes in North America's urban landscape in the last few decades. One of the most obvious effects has been the emergence of commercial ribbons, i.e. the development of business establishments along major urban traffic arteries. Early studies of urban business structure have provided the basis for a general consensus that commercial ribbon development exists because of its ability to attract clientele from the passing traffic. These findings explained the cause of emergence of such phenomena but failed to provide any further insight into the relation of the structure to the functions of the ribbon, or the relative strengths of various businesses in competing for ribbon locations... Portage Avenue, the major traffic artery and the most prominent well-developed commercial ribbon in Winnipeg, is selected for the study. This study deals only with the business structure and its spatial pattern along a commercial ribbon outside the central business district (CBD), hence that portion of Portage Avenue which is part of the CBD is excluded. The purpose of this study is to examine the structure and spatial pattern of businesses along Portage Avenue. The analysis is carried out in terms of the following framework. First, functional compositions of establishments on Portage Avenue is examined to determine the functional structure of the commercial ribbon. Second, the spatial patterns of business classes are examined by means of nearest neighbor and percentile values analysis. Lastly, the spatial associations among different classes are examined in order to understand the spatial relationship existing between different types of functions when located along a commercial ribbon...