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Rethinking Suburbs


Morphological and Network Analysis Review
Khaled Alawadi

Streets play significant roles in meeting multiple sustainability objectives. This research addresses Abu Dhabi’s and Dubai’s street connectivity at the neighborhood (local) and city (global) scales. It focuses on two parameters of street network analysis: efficiency and centrality. Efficiency is evaluated in terms of directness, noting that network designs that provide short and direct access between origins and destinations are more efficient. Centrality is evaluated using graph theory metrics that enable the identification of high- and low-accessibility locations within networks. Research has shown that network centrality metrics are useful for capturing location advantage, a significant factor for land use distribution. An understanding of centrality and its impacts makes it possible to plan land uses that bring destinations closer to residences, an important factor in environmental, economic, and social sustainability. The book offers scientifically grounded strategies and policies that will enable various stakeholders to design more sustainable street systems and land uses in neighborhhods.
The conventional suburban model of low-density, automobile-centric development with fragmented streets cannot foster high levels of accessibility within neighborhoods. This study offers an alternative, evidence-based suburban design model for future cities. Quantitative examination of case studies in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, along with illustrations of potential redesign options, show how suburbs can be made more accessible to pedestrian traffic. The book draws design ideals from high-performing neighborhoods and uses these ideals to redesign low-performing ones. Findings reveal that accessibility in suburban neighborhoods requires integrating several morphological attributes, including plot density, network design and density, and strategic placement of alleys.  Because suburbs are likely to continue to be the primary features of urban development, this book argues that suburban design should be rethought, instead of being vilified, discarded, or ignored. Evidence-based studies that provide improved designs and illustrations of new suburban models are scarce. Therefore, The novelty of this paper lies in its two major contributions to urban design scholarship and practice. First, this book presents evidence-based research that features a more thorough and scientific approach to physical planning. The literature on suburban design and retrofitting efforts are mostly written in narrative form with descriptive recommendations to improve design and policy to enable suburban transformation; they do not include applied tangible outcomes sustained by quantified remodeling scenarios. Second, the overlay of methodologies (morphological mapping and network analysis) ultimately helps researchers and policymakers read the environment of city building with a critical eye for the purpose of advancing scholarship and practice. 


Authors: Khaled Alawadi
Size: 23 x 28 cm. / 11 x 9 in.
Pages: 363
Illustrations: Color
Cover: Hardcover
Publication date: January 2024
Published by: Actar Publishers
ISBN: English 9781638401070
Price: 40€/ $49.95/ £40

Additional information

Weight 1 kg

Khaled Alawadi


Rethinking suburbs provides answers to how can we design and plan neighborhoods in which non-motorized mobility is a viable and efficient alternative.

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