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A configurational morphogenesis of incremental urbanism: A comparative study of the access network transformations in informal settlements

Iranmanesh, Aminreza and Kamalipour, Hesam ORCID: 2023. A configurational morphogenesis of incremental urbanism: A comparative study of the access network transformations in informal settlements. Cities 140 , 104444. 10.1016/j.cities.2023.104444

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The morphologies of informal settlements constantly change as they undergo processes of incremental adaptations and transformations in relation to emerging circumstances. One of the ways to explore the underlying morphogenic processes governing such adaptations and transformations is to study the morphogenesis of informal settlement. Informal settlements can tell the story of how access networks evolve through incremental processes of change as they generally emerge and where possible become consolidated through forms of adaptations and transformations. Adopting a comparative case study research design approach, this paper explores the incremental transformations of access networks across three emerging settlements located in proximity to Abuja in Nigeria. These settlements are comparatively mapped using historic satellite images illustrating eight temporal stages between 2007 and 2021. Space Syntax is used as an analytical method to study the configurational morphogenesis of the access network with a focus on the measures of connectivity, betweenness, closeness, and intelligibility. The study shows how the flexibility of the early stages of development provides opportunities for the formation of what might be considered irregular elements in the access network. The research findings also suggest that the access network becomes less intelligible as it evolves. The locations of the main local cores of the access networks are found to remain relatively unchanged and somewhat fixed as emerging local cores come about in the newly developed areas. The spatial circumstances of the studied settlements are also found to have impacts on how the incremental adaptations and transformations generate new elements as part of the access networks. The findings of this study can inform the ways the built environment professions can engage with processes of incremental transformation by providing a better understanding of configurational morphogenesis in the context of informal urbanism.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0264-2751
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 July 2023
Date of Acceptance: 17 June 2023
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2023 21:43

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