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The relationship between urban street configuration and office rent patterns in Berlin

Desyllas, J; (2000) The relationship between urban street configuration and office rent patterns in Berlin. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis presents a study of the influence of urban street configuration on the pattern of commercial office rents in Berlin. The hypothesis is that there is a relationship between the two, and that the alteration of the street network with reunification has precipitated a spatial reorganisation of office rents. The identification of an independent spatial variable that can be used to account for the pattern of rent is a key problem in office rent studies. Unlike previously used distances to a point in the Central Business District (CBD) or other destinations, this study uses 'space syntax' measures of the morphology of the street network. 'Global integration' is used to measure the role of each street within the entire configuration, revealing fundamental changes in the spatial structure of Berlin both with the city's historical development and with reunification. Whereas most previous office rent studies have used yearly average asking rents per building for a short period, a sample of 412 achieved rents over a 7 year period was collected to control for the influence of lease provisions and the effect of market change over time on rents. The spatial pattern of 'location rents' is investigated through visual representations using GIS. Significant variation from street to street and a marked rise from periphery to centre are found. Unlike previous studies, spatial changes over time were investigated: a marked shift in the pattern of rents from West Berlin to the East has occurred in the 7 years following reunification. This shift corresponds to the changing spatial structure of the city revealed in the spatial analysis. Multiple Regression Analysis (MRA) is used to quantify the importance of spatial variables (space syntax measures) in rent determination but also taking non-spatial variables (time, building quality, and lease provisions) into account. The main findings are that rents in West Berlin can be explained by the date of lease commencement (falling with the recession) and the global spatial integration as it was in divided Berlin. In East Berlin the global integration pattern of reunfied Berlin is most important and secondly the date of lease commencement. Other variables such as floorspace and lease length are not found to have statistical significance. It is concluded that the change in Berlin's spatial structure that occurred with reunification led to a spatial reorganisation of prime office rents from the West Berlin CBD into the former East Berlin district of Mitte. It is argued that 'location value' will be an emergent property of any spatial system because a differentiated potential for co-presence is created.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The relationship between urban street configuration and office rent patterns in Berlin
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10136861
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