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8 Structure

8.1 City form

Roseau is basically a very compact city. If a circle with radius of 800 metres is drawn with its focus on the Botanical Gardens gate to Valley Road, about 80 percent of the continuous urban area fits inside the perimeter of the circle (Fig. 11). Northern parts of Goodwill and about half of the areas of Bath Estate and Newtown fall outside the circle. Central Roseau--often called just 'Roseau'--is even more compact. Its grid area fits almost inside a rectangle of 500 to 600 metres.

The overall city form of the Roseau continuous urban area ressembles a star--if noticed that two thirds of the star is under the Caribbean Sea (see Fig. 11). The star is traditionally one of the basic models of ideal city forms. According to Lynch (1981: 374) the form of star has been studied most systematically by Hans Blumenfeld in 1949. The ideas of him have greatly influenced the planning of such cities as Washington D.C., Copenhagen, and Moscow. The radial form of star is supposed to allow the most efficient transportation network while still leaving green space between the built areas.

In the case of Roseau it is probably not the considerations of an ideal city form but the rugged topography that has caused the starlike form (see Chapter 7.1). Even the inclusion of nearby suburban areas of Stock Farm and Elmsall Estate would not disturb the starlike appearance to any considerable extent. As a matter of fact, inclusion of more distant settlements just enhances the model as the concept of satellite cities is closely related with the idea of a star (Lynch 1981: 374). However, the reason that the urban growth in the Roseau area has concentrated on certain nuclei instead of continuous sprawl is due to the mountainous terrain of Dominica.



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