At what point does a 'fat' street become a square? Any thoughts anyone?
In the English spatial culture there is this space called a Broad street or Broadway. Good examples are in Oxford and many other places.
They are an interesting variation on the Square, a street that at time can become a square and at other is mainly a street, the time dimension of when a street might be such or not: a space of flow (people, goods, information - just under the tarmac there are a lot of networks) can transform itself momentarily into a space of place - mainly for almost stationary activities and transactions like a market, but as well many other type of events - space of events.
A note on language, English has many more words for designating different space than say French, this was noted by George Perec - he wrote a short book called space species (especes d'espaces. This is perhaps one of the trigger that puzzles our friend Rui.
There is no street essence that what I understand from what Stephen and Alan are getting at. It is always in relationship to the social and economic side of society: it is spatial socio-economics.
From: Ruth Conroy Dalton [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 01 June 2007 11:42
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: What is a street?
Perhaps we should agree on what we can agree on?
These would be my three guesses for commonalities. A street is:
It is a space, i.e. an absence of form. If a street is permanently
blocked, it is no longer a street.
It is a 'thoroughfare' - its purpose is for navigation: to reach
and/or be a destination or series of destinations. For the case of
dead-ends and access roads, we should surely ask the question of what
it is accessing? I would suggest that a street (if represented as a
node in a graph) could be 2 or more connected yet be unconstituted
(i.e. it is for through-traffic only) or 1-connected and constituted
(i.e. a dead-end but provides access to somewhere). However, if it is
*both* 1-connected *and* unconstituted it should be discounted. Could
we agree on this?
Geometrically, it is linear. There are certain proportions of length
to width that are clearly street-like. Beyond a certain
length-to-width ratio it would universally be considered and 'open
space' or square (even if it is still serving the function of a
thoroughfare, as above). Of course, this does beg the question of, at
what point does a 'fat' street become a square? Any thoughts anyone?
>On Fri, 1 Jun 2007 09:28:45 +0100, Alan Penn <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>The route down the ramp at Torrington Place seems to me to be relatively
>>unproblematic. If you are mapping 'private space' (within an individual
>>building curtilage) it should be there as it provides real access to the
>>back door and the way into CASA.
>you make an obvious point: we KNOW that the ramp at Torrington Plc is not
>a street (I would think the same for the emergency access to UCH). But
>that seems to require non-geometric information to be combined with the
>So what IS a street?
>>The more problematic street segments on OS
>>Mastermap are the very short bits that go round traffic bollards in the
>>middle of roads and at junctions - perhaps it is these that give rise to
>>curve at the tail of the distribution? Sticking to geometry based
>>definitions seems to me to be much simpler than semantic or heuristic
>>definitions for this kind of thing.
>>> A question: If we include, following 'TeleAtlas' for instance, to map
>>> countless bits of space as 'The ramp to the car park at 1-19 Torrington
>>> Plc' or 'The entrance to the emergency services at UCH' into a street
>>> network, could it change its degree distribution from a 'log-normal' to
>>> a 'power-law'? If so, can we really claim that the degree distribution
>>> street networks does not follow a power law but a log-normal?
>>> >On Thu, 31 May 2007 19:24:49 +0100, Lucas Figueiredo
>>> ><[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> >>On 31/05/07, Rui Carvalho <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> >>> Pitty no one knows what a street is...
>>> >>Certainly it is not a segment (or route) between two junctions.
>>> >>Otherwise we would have things like "Oxford Street sector A, B, C" and
>>> >>so on...
>>> >The ramp to the car park at 1-19 Torrington Plc. This comes in GPS car
>>> >navigation systems as a decision point? is it a street?
>>> >The entrance to the emergency services at UCH (that's UCL Hospital for
>>> >Londoners). Is it a street?
>>> >This question appears when you process data from services like
>>> >the most accurate data available on street networks...
>>> >Looks like Alan should organize that 'mass observation' on what a
>>> >is after all...
>>> >Comments welcome!
>>> >>Lucas Figueiredo