Picture of person typing on laptop with programming code visible on the laptop screen

World class computing and information science research at Strathclyde...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

The Department also includes the iSchool Research Group, which performs leading research into socio-technical phenomena and topics such as information retrieval and information seeking behaviour.

Explore

Elementary processes governing the evolution of road networks

Strano, Emanuele and Nicosia, Vincenzo and Latora, Vito and Porta, Sergio and Barthelemy, Marc (2012) Elementary processes governing the evolution of road networks. Scientific Reports, 2.

[img]
Preview
Text (Strano-etal-SR-2012-Elementary-processes-governing-the-evolution-of-road-networks)
Strano_etal_SR_2012_Elementary_processes_governing_the_evolution_of_road_networks.pdf - Final Published Version
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 logo

Download (690kB) | Preview

Abstract

Urbanization is a fundamental phenomenon which still remains poorly characterized in a quantitative way. The structure of street networks plays a crucial role in the development of urban areas. Here we report a study of almost 200 years evolution of the street network in a large area located in the north of Milan's metropolitan region (Italy). We present an empirical analysis of the transition from non-urbanized to urbanized land, attested by the regularization of cell shapes and by an increase of the fraction of intersections of degree four in the street network. We show that the evolution of the road network relies on a set of central points which are stable throughout time, and which constitute the backbone of the urban structure, conrming the importance of historical paths. Finally, our analysis led us to identify two elementary processes through which urbanization lls out space. The rst process is `densication', which corresponds to an increase in the local density of streets around the main existing central points and directions. The second process is `exploration', and consists in new roads and streets triggering the spatial evolution of the urbanization front. The quantitative identification of such simple elementary mechanisms suggests the existence of universal properties of urbanization processes, and opens up new possibilities to conceive more general and accurate models.