An Arterial Grid of Dirt Roads

Author: Shlomo Angel


Many cities in developing countries are still growing rapidly and are expected to double (or more than double) their populations and triple (or more than triple) their built-up areas in the next 25 years. Municipal officials in several intermediate cities in Ecuador, instigated by the author on an exploratory mission for the World Bank, have begun to develop a joint strategy for accommodating their expected population growth. This initiative is an important demonstration project for a large number of cities in developing countries that now face strong population pressures. It aims to attain four related objectives: ensuring an adequate supply of affordable land for housing the poor; laying the foundations for an effective city planning regime; introducing a network of arterial roads that will eventually carry public transport and trunk infrastructure into expansion areas; and acquiring and securing the rights-of-way of the entire arterial road network in advance.

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