Bonus Random Interesting Post by Dani: Urban spatial order: street network orientation, configuration, and entropy

I stumbled acorss this image and subsequent the research and journal article it came from. I found it interesting and wanted to share. Notice Amsterdam is 9 across and 5 down, Charlotte, NC is the very bottom right lol and Washington, DC is 6 across, 2 down, New York is 8 across and 1 down and Rome is also 8 across but allll the way down.


“Recently, scholars have studied street network order and disorder through circuity and orientation entropy. The former measures street curvature and how this relates to other urban patterns and processes. The latter quantifies and visualizes the entropy of street orientations to assess how ordered they are, as entropy quantifies the fundamentally related concepts of disorder, uncertainty, and dispersion. Louf and Barthelemy explore city block geometries around the world as a function of block size and form factor, clustering them to identify differences between US and European cities. However, less is known about cross-sectional trends in the spatial orientation and ordering of street networks worldwide. This study builds on this prior research into circuity, order, and entropy by drawing on OpenStreetMap data to examine cities around the world and explore their patterns and relationships.”

“Three American cities (Chicago, Miami, and Minneapolis) have the lowest orientation entropies of all the cities studied, indicating that their street networks are the most ordered. In fact, all 16 cities with the lowest entropies are in the US and Canada. Outside of the US/Canada, Mogadishu, Kyoto, and Melbourne have the lowest orientation entropies. Surprisingly, the city with the highest entropy, Charlotte, is also in the US. São Paulo and Rome immediately follow it as the next highest cities. Chicago, the most ordered city, has a φ of 0.90, while Charlotte, the most disordered, has a φ of 0.002. Recall that a φ of 0 indicates a uniform distribution of streets in every direction and a φ of 1 indicates a single perfectly-ordered grid. Charlotte’s and São Paulo’s street orientations are nearly perfectly disordered.”

You can read more about methodology in the report. The report also doesn’t make comments about which way is better or not, it’s just observations.

Histogram maps of cities’ street networks based on direction and length of the street.


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