Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, 24th ISUF 2017 - City and Territory in the Globalization Age

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Spatial Patterns in Mass Consumption: The Fast Food Chain Network and its Street Patterns, Clusters and Impact on Street Safety
Genevieve Shaun Lin, Kayvan Karimi

Last modified: 17-05-2018


Can the fast-food chain network, to some extent, support the socio-spatial structure and safety of the street? Is there an urban spatial pattern within the ‘Chain Network’ and mass consumption? This papers dwells on spatial patterns on mass consumption in the global capitalistic cities of London and Tokyo, through the lens of the fast food chain network. Their symbols (for instance, the Golden Arches of McDonalds) are instantly recognizable both by locals and tourists. McDonalds started off as a hot dog stand in California in the 1940s and rapidly expanded across America in lieu of the mass usage of the automobile and construction of freeways. A foreigner can order easily from a McDonalds menu in Tokyo, without speaking Japanese, because the menu is created in a “global language”. Fast food chain stores, such as McDonalds and Starbucks, seem to be sprouting in every street corner, even as much as 3 of the same shop on the same street. You don’t have to find them, because they will find you. Rather than casting them aside as complex economic or political factors, the first part of the research focuses on its spatial clustering, and to see if there is an intrinsic spatial relationship with high-choice, or highly integrated streets. How far deep does the network go from the highest choice streets? The second part of the research will see if the clusters of fast-food chain, with their “night economy” would lead to safer and more pleasant street and communities. Fast food chains do indeed play a vital spatial role in our physical communities in the 21st century.

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