UBC Faculty Research and Publications

How is an informal transport infrastructure system formed? Towards a spatially explicit conceptual model Vahidi, Hossein; Yan, Wanglin


The informal transport infrastructure is an inseparable and critical element of the transportation system in that it provides pedestrian accessibility in planned or unplanned environments. Despite this important role, the informal infrastructure is usually neglected in formal studies, plans, reports or maps. A sophisticated understanding of the different dynamics and mechanisms behind the growth process of the informal infrastructure enables the researchers and practitioners to better plan, conserve and manage open spaces in planned and unplanned environments and helps them predict and manage the growth process of the informal infrastructure in the context of historical cities or informal settlements and model the mutual impacts of infrastructure growth and settlement growth in such areas. In the absence of a holistic spatially and temporally explicit model in the context of GIScience, this research aims to offer an outlook for some of the most important driving forces and aspects of informal infrastructure formation to establish the principal background for developing a spatially explicit, cognitively plausible conceptual model for future research. In this sense, this paper presents a critical review to cover a diverse range of topics in the different disciplines of this area and discuss the theoretical issues on the informal infrastructure formation process to explore, analyze and categorize the role of various human individual and collective-level behaviors and various human and environment interactions in emerging of the self-organizing patterns in the informal infrastructure system.

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