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Cityscape: Volume 21 Number 2 | National Survey of Mortgage Originations


The goal of Cityscape is to bring high-quality original research on housing and community development issues to scholars, government officials, and practitioners. Cityscape is open to all relevant disciplines, including architecture, consumer research, demography, economics, engineering, ethnography, finance, geography, law, planning, political science, public policy, regional science, sociology, statistics, and urban studies.

Cityscape is published three times a year by the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

National Survey of Mortgage Originations

Volume 21 Number 2

Mark D. Shroder

Michelle P. Matuga

Where is the City’s Center? Five Measures of Central Location

Matthew J. Holian
San Jose State University

In this article, the author describes and evaluates five databases that provide different measures of city center location. He identifies research that has used each database, calculates average distances between the locations, presents case studies for two cities, and provides suggestions for analysts searching for appropriate measures of city center location. Among the findings are that the location of a city’s city hall is a better proxy for the location of a city’s central business district (CBD) than are other measures in current use.

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