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Understanding the spatial organisation of economic activities in early 19th century Antwerp

Francesca Elizabeth Froy


This article uses space syntax analysis to explore the spatial organisation of economic activities in the city of Antwerp in the early 19th century. A cadastral map from 1835 and a commercial almanac for 1838 were used to map the occupations held by the inhabitants of some 10,667 plots. Economic activities were found to be relatively broadly distributed throughout the street system, as opposed to being clustered at particular points. However some trades and occupations were more likely to be found on a ‘foreground network’ of more accessible streets, and this was found to be statistically significant. Those occupations found in locations with high accessibility at all scales included retailers, wholesalers and artisans. While retailers would have prioritised access to passing trade, the latter two groups may have valued accessibility to the circulation of goods, products and knowledge as much as to the circulation of people.


history, economy; Antwerp; trades; accessibility

Full Text: JOSS_6_2_225-246