Investigating street connectivity of superblocks with equal street construction cost

Rim Anabtawi, Martin Scoppa

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Superblock neighborhood planning has been evolving and growing through the past years in rapidly urbanizing countries such as United Arab Emirates (UAE). Superblocks in the UAE take the shape of large tracts of land-approximately 900x 600 m-bounded by arterial roads and developed following the principles of the Neighborhood Planning Unit. Promoting walkability in superblocks, has become a priority for the UAE government, noting that walking is a key variable in planning for more sustainable neighborhoods. However, despite recent research on walkability and street connectivity in superblock neighborhoods of the UAE, not much research has focused on connectivity in relation to road construction costs. This paper addresses this question by jointly studying connectivity and cost-efficiency in three different superblock neighborhoods of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE. Specifically, the study evaluates road construction costs of these three neighborhoods, and the connectivity that their road networks provide to their residents. Connectvity is measured from each plot in the superblock, to each of its corners, noting that residents can cross over at the superblock corners to adjacent superblocks. Testing access to the corners thus, addresses the need to think of superblocks not as potential pockets of walkability, but as components of a city building strategy. Connectivity analysis calculated three distinct but related connectivity metrics: route distance, route directness, and route diversity. The results show that despite having similar road construction costs, neighborhoods only have similar distance and directness to the corners, while differences are found in route diversity. The findings suggest that these method can effectively support future development, assisting in the selection of different designs based on optimazing connectivity and street construction cost. The paper concludes with a discussion about the ability of these results to inform urban development policy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number210001
JournalAIP Conference Proceedings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 27 2023
Event7th World Multidisciplinary Civil Engineering-Architecture-Urban Planning Symposium, WMCAUS 2022 - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: Sept 5 2022Sept 9 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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