I’m sure you’re right about the link between street morphology and attractiveness to business. Centres seem to do one of three things through time. They either:
1. consolidate and grow (London, Paris)
2. move (Jeddah)
3. implode (Sunderland).
Oh, and some places:
4. never have a functioning centre (Skelmersdale, UK New Towns) because they were designed in ignorance of the importance of a) grid continuity and b) multi-scale centrality – properties measured by Space Syntax models
5. divide and reunite (Berlin) but we can’t blame the architects for that!
Email to Paul Swinney at the Centre for Cities