Centrality as a process

Centrality as a process is a theory which proposes that urban centres are the outcome of a long-term historical process of the formation and location of centres. This process entails the configuration of the street network shaping movement flows patterns, which subsequently have an impact on the distribution of land uses to form the busier and quieter areas of the network and the subsequent influence this has on land use choices, and the development of the area as an attractor in the settlement layout as a whole. It both responds to well-defined configurational properties of the settlement layout, but also initiates changes in it by adapting the local grid conditions. The adaptation is typically local intensification of the street network by forming smaller scale urban blocks, which leads to more trip-efficient, permeable structures.


Hillier, B. (1999),Centrality as a process: accounting for attraction inequalities in deformed grids. Urban Design International , 4 (3/4) 107 – 127. pp.107