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Title: Optimal reblocking as a practical tool for neighborhood development

Abstract

Fast urbanization is a common feature of many developing human societies. In many cases, past and present, explosive population growth in cities outstrips the rate of provision of housing and urban services and leads to the formation of informal settlements or slums. Slums are extremely varied in terms of their histories, infrastructure, and rates of change, but they share certain common features: informal land use, lack of physical accesses, and nonexistent or poor quality urban services. Currently, about 1 billion people worldwide live in slums, a number that could triple by 2050 if no practical solutions are enacted to reverse this trend. Underlying most problems of slums is the issue of lack of physical accesses to places of work and residence. This prevents residents and businesses from having an address, obtaining basic services such as water and sanitation, and being helped in times of emergency. In this paper, we show how the physical layout of any neighborhood can be classified quantitatively in terms of its access topology in a way that is independent of its geometry. Topological indices capturing levels of access to structures within a city block can then be used to define a constrained optimization problem, whose solutionmore » generates an access network that makes each structure in the settlement accessible to services with minimal disruption and cost. We discuss the general applicability of these techniques to several informal settlements in developing cities and demonstrate various technical aspects of our solutions. In conclusion, we discuss how these techniques could be used on a large scale to speed up human development processes in cities throughout the world while respecting their local identity and history.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1]
  1. Santa Fe Inst. (SFI), Santa Fe, NM (United States)
  2. Sam Houston State Univ., Huntsville, TX (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1394373
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science; Journal ID: ISSN 2399-8083
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Brelsford, Christa, Martin, Taylor, and Bettencourt, Luís M. A.. Optimal reblocking as a practical tool for neighborhood development. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1177/2399808317712715.
Brelsford, Christa, Martin, Taylor, & Bettencourt, Luís M. A.. Optimal reblocking as a practical tool for neighborhood development. United States. doi:10.1177/2399808317712715.
Brelsford, Christa, Martin, Taylor, and Bettencourt, Luís M. A.. Mon . "Optimal reblocking as a practical tool for neighborhood development". United States. doi:10.1177/2399808317712715. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1394373.
@article{osti_1394373,
title = {Optimal reblocking as a practical tool for neighborhood development},
author = {Brelsford, Christa and Martin, Taylor and Bettencourt, Luís M. A.},
abstractNote = {Fast urbanization is a common feature of many developing human societies. In many cases, past and present, explosive population growth in cities outstrips the rate of provision of housing and urban services and leads to the formation of informal settlements or slums. Slums are extremely varied in terms of their histories, infrastructure, and rates of change, but they share certain common features: informal land use, lack of physical accesses, and nonexistent or poor quality urban services. Currently, about 1 billion people worldwide live in slums, a number that could triple by 2050 if no practical solutions are enacted to reverse this trend. Underlying most problems of slums is the issue of lack of physical accesses to places of work and residence. This prevents residents and businesses from having an address, obtaining basic services such as water and sanitation, and being helped in times of emergency. In this paper, we show how the physical layout of any neighborhood can be classified quantitatively in terms of its access topology in a way that is independent of its geometry. Topological indices capturing levels of access to structures within a city block can then be used to define a constrained optimization problem, whose solution generates an access network that makes each structure in the settlement accessible to services with minimal disruption and cost. We discuss the general applicability of these techniques to several informal settlements in developing cities and demonstrate various technical aspects of our solutions. In conclusion, we discuss how these techniques could be used on a large scale to speed up human development processes in cities throughout the world while respecting their local identity and history.},
doi = {10.1177/2399808317712715},
journal = {Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jun 12 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Mon Jun 12 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

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