Counting pedestrians on a street and visitors entering a store is a method used to measure the attractiveness of these places. Their volumes are governed by daily, weekly, monthly and yearly cycles and are subject to random influences. This must be taken into account especially where comparison counts reveal changes. When single streets or stores are counted, it must be ascertained whether this figure is representative of the whole city centre and its retailing. Pedestrian volumes can be used for adjusting interview samples to the distribution in time and space of the city centre visitors. Counts of the qualitative characteristics of the pedestrian with respect to composition of groups reveal that surveys among pedestrians are biased in relation to the size of the group.
Special attention in surveys should be given to the linking of activities. Whereas much emphasis is given to the accessibility of the city centre from outside, the ‘inner accessibility’ of the city centre is just as important. Long distances are often walked and many destinations visited. This is best recorded by conducting interviews at public transport stops and car parks.
The attractiveness of the city centre depends not only on its physical structures but very much on the subjective perception of them; therefore judgements on accessibility, goods and services offered and the urban ambiance should be recorded. Retailer's attitudes concerning the qualities of the city centre should also be compiled for comparison.