Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Is the U.S. Starting to Turn the Corner on Urban Sprawl?

quote [ On the time scale of several decades, some characteristics of the physical layout of urban areas can change in response to infrastructure, prices, and migration. For instance, buildings can be reshaped or replaced, and new infrastructure and services can arise. However, residential roads tend to remain where they were first placed. ]

Main link is just to a tiny NYT article. The real meat is in the scientific paper I've included in extended. It's an entire overview of sprawl in the U.S. over the last 100 years through the lens of road connectivity. Sounds kind of boring but it's cool as hell. Don't be scared off by the technical writing--it's composed so that people outside the field can understand it and has a lot of cool figures. Best PNAS paper of 2015 in my opinion.

[SFW] [people] [+2 Interesting]
[by bltrocker@11:25pmGMT]


lilmookieesquire said[1] @ 12:05am GMT on 15th Jul [Score:2 Good]
lethalflatulence said @ 3:37am GMT on 15th Jul [Score:1 Informative]
I'm drunk, so thanks for posting a summary
HP Lovekraftwerk said @ 12:09am GMT on 15th Jul
The fact that we really can't afford to maintain our current highway and bridge network could play a role in this. I visited a friend in Texas near Plano, and it was amazing how they were building 4-lane interstate highways to sites of planned development that hadn't even been built yet, all for "exclusive" residential with one gas station and strip mall (planned) to service the residents.

Even with the property/gas taxes they had, I couldn't see how they could maintain that kind of infrastructure.
midden said @ 12:17am GMT on 15th Jul
Interesting paper. I didn't realize that cul-de-sacs, (culs-de-sac?) were so demonized until just a year or two ago. I happen to live in a dominantly "loop and lollipop" city designed in the late 60s. There's pretty much no grid anywhere, even in the center of town. We joke that it takes ten minutes to get from any one place to any other place in town, no matter how far apart they are. On the other hand, the entire town was also designed with pedestrian paths that connect just about everything, often more directly than the roads, so walking and biking can be as easy as driving.

I have a good friend I visit often. He lives about twelve minutes away by car, and it's a 3.5 mile drive. I can ride my bike there in 16 minutes via pedestrian/cycle paths, which google tells me is 3.2 miles. By the way, google now shows elevation changes when you get directions for bicycle, which is awesome.
lethalflatulence said @ 3:46am GMT on 15th Jul
The problem with America today. (Aside from the fact that it's still practically segregated) Is that we consider manual labor a job for immigrants, non-americans, and being poor is immoral or unamerican
HP Lovekraftwerk said @ 4:23am GMT on 15th Jul
And yet many demand that manual labor not be done by immigrants, yet there's no recognition of the value of the work to begin with. I'd say more training and brainpower goes into being on a road crew than it does for most jobs where bagels are served in conference rooms.

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