Monday, May 05, 2008

City road networks grow like biological systems

NewScientistTech has an interesting article discussing the similarity of road networks to biological networks:

French Atomic Energy Commission and Indiana University scientists have developed a simple mathematical model that can recreate the characteristic leaf-like patterns in city roads.

They say the patterns evolve thanks to similar local efforts, as people try to connect houses, businesses and other infrastructures to existing roads.

Likewise, evolution has ensured that local efficiency also drives the growth of transport networks in biology -- for example, in plant leaf veins and circulatory systems.

The approach could help city planners to better predict how some street networks will evolve and to plan accordingly.

Read original article here

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