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      Self-organization versus top-down planning in the evolution of a city

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          Abstract

          Interventions of central, top-down planning are serious limitations to the possibility of modelling the dynamics of cities. An example is the city of Paris (France), which during the 19th century experienced large modifications supervised by a central authority, the `Haussmann period'. In this article, we report an empirical analysis of more than 200 years (1789-2010) of the evolution of the street network of Paris. We show that the usual network measures display a smooth behavior and that the most important quantitative signatures of central planning is the spatial reorganization of centrality and the modification of the block shape distribution. Such effects can only be obtained by structural modifications at a large-scale level, with the creation of new roads not constrained by the existing geometry. The evolution of a city thus seems to result from the superimposition of continuous, local growth processes and punctual changes operating at large spatial scales.

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          Most cited references 12

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          A Set of Measures of Centrality Based on Betweenness

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            Spatial Networks

              (2010)
            Complex systems are very often organized under the form of networks where nodes and edges are embedded in space. Transportation and mobility networks, Internet, mobile phone networks, power grids, social and contact networks, neural networks, are all examples where space is relevant and where topology alone does not contain all the information. Characterizing and understanding the structure and the evolution of spatial networks is thus crucial for many different fields ranging from urbanism to epidemiology. An important consequence of space on networks is that there is a cost associated to the length of edges which in turn has dramatic effects on the topological structure of these networks. We will expose thoroughly the current state of our understanding of how the spatial constraints affect the structure and properties of these networks. We will review the most recent empirical observations and the most important models of spatial networks. We will also discuss various processes which take place on these spatial networks, such as phase transitions, random walks, synchronization, navigation, resilience, and disease spread.
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              Modelling urban growth patterns

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                Journal
                1307.2203

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