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Article

Where is the consumer center? A case of St. Petersburg

Kholodilin K., Крылова И. Е., Крютченко Д. И.

In an urban economy, the distribution of people and real estate prices depends on the location of the central business district of a city. As distance from the city center increases, both prices and population density diminish, for travel costs increase in terms of time and money. As manufacturing gradually leaves the cities, the importance of consumer amenities as attractors of population to the urban areas increases. The role of a business center is being replaced by the consumer center. In this paper, we identify the location of the consumer center of St. Petersburg — the second largest city in Russia and its former capital. For this purpose using the data from open sources in the Internet regarding the location of many different types of urban amenities, the indices of their spatial density are computed. Using the weights based on coefficients of spatial variation and survey-based weights, the individual indices are aggregated to two general centrality indices. Their unique maxima correspond to the city center of St. Petersburg, which is located on Nevsky prospekt, between Fontanka river and Liteinyi prospekt.