Streets, density, and the superblock: neighborhood planning units and street connectivity in Abu Dhabi

Khaled Alawadi, Ngoc Hong Nguyen, Eiman Alrubaei, Martin Scoppa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This article studies the efficiency of street networks of Neighborhood Planning Units. Pedestrian Route Directness quantified the NPUs’ efficiency. The sample includes ten Abu Dhabi NPUs built during two periods: pre-1990 and post-1990. Two scenarios are assessed. First, as-built streets are evaluated based on the PRD test. Second, PRD values of NPUs with different plot densities are compared. Results show that plot density does not affect efficiency. A good network design produces high efficiency regardless of its plot density. The effects of streets on efficiency were further revealed by Betweenness. Combining PRD and Betweenness yields important principles of network design. This method can be applied to assess the connectivity of streets in different contexts. Future research should focus on: How do alleys contribute to the efficiency of NPUs? How do street configurations influence the behavior of movement? And how should NPUs be evaluated as local street systems with global implications?.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-195
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Urbanism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Street connectivity
  • betweenness
  • density
  • neighborhood planning units
  • pedestrian route directness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


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