Street Networks and Finite Boundaries: Modelling the unique evolution of Malé
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The paper provides a quantitative assessment of the historic evolution of street networks based on a unique case-study, the street networks of Malé. The street network is Male is a result of the geographic limits of the island city and currently supports an extraordinary population density of 41,000 per sq km, the highest in the world. This paper revisits the role of architectural science in the design and practice of urban modelling through the spatio-temporal investigation of the street network. Street formation is an indirect measure of the intensity of land-use and development. By tracing the formation of street networks, the paper presents quantitative results on the intensification of the finite space over time. Street networks are represented as a graph, whose edges represent edges and nodes represent junctions. The findings of the study provide a quantitative signature of the temporal evolution of the street system reveals the existence of two dynamic mechanisms that drive the evolution of the road network over time, namely plot subdivision (intensification) and reclamation (exploration). A summary of the street network metrics shows a continuous change in the growth of the road network between 1920 and 2011.
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