The attached map is from Christopher Barrington-Leigh and Adam Millard-Ball’s 2015 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, A Century of Sprawl in the United States. Because of the good parcel file data in the Twin Cities, we got analyzed in depth. The base of their argument is measurement of nodal degree (how many links meet at an intersection). Nodal degree 4 (a 4-way intersection) indicates less sprawl (more connectivity) than a nodal degree of 3 (3-way) or 1 (cul-de-sac) (nodal degree of 2 doesn’t make a lot of sense topologically, since that would be one continuous link, though it can happen depending on how the data is mapped and roads are named and laid out, and nodes are often used to indicate curvature). In short, the network used to be very gridlike, went through decades of non-gridlike additions, though more recent additions have been more gridlike again.
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