9-line access access management access point accessibility ADA air quality alignment amenity antiplanner atlanta BART benchmark BID bike Blogs boston branded bus corridors brookings brt bus Bus Rapid Transit BYU capacity car pool car pool lane cars central link Centrality certification commuter rail condo congestion congestion pricing connections consistency coverage crossings CRT cycling DART dedicated dedicated right of way density denver depreciation developers development economics efficiency Envision Utah equity eugene exclusive extension FAQ favela Federal Funding Flex Bus florida free fare zone freeways frequent network frontrunner frontunner Gallivan garden cities gas prices geotagging goat Google grade-separation Granary District growth headway heavy rail hedonic High Speed Rail history housing housing affordability housing bubble housing prices HOV income infill innovative intersections intensity ITS junk science LA land use Land Value Economics LEED legacy city light rail linear park location LRT lyft M/ART malls mapping maps metrics metro MetroRail missoula mixed mixed traffic mixed-traffic mobile mode choice Mode Share multi-family MXD neighborhood networks news NIMBY office online op-ed open letter Operations parking parking meters peak travel pedestrian environment phasing Photomorphing planning Portland property property values Provo proximity quality_transit rail railvolution rant rapid rapid transit RDA real estate redevelopment reliability research retail Ridership ridesharing right of way roadway network ROW salt lake city san diego schedule schedule span seattle separated service branding shuttle silver line single family SLC SLC transit master plan slums smartphone snow sprawl standing stop spacing streetcar streetscape streetscaping subdivision Sugarhouse Sugarhouse Streetcar Tacoma taxi technology tenure termini time-separation TOD townhouse traffic signal tram transit transit agency transit networks transit oriented development Transit Planning transponder transportation travel time TRAX trip planning trolley tunnel uber university of utah urban design urban land UTA UTA 2 Go Trip Planner utah Utah County Utah Transit Authority value vmt walking distance web welfare transit Westside Connector WFRC wheelchairs zoning

Monday, October 18, 2010

Maximum Density

My brother sent me a fascinating link the other day.

While SimCity 3000 is a game (designed to be fun) rather then a model (designed to be useful) it has enough verisimilitude to be worth considering. Skip to the end, and consider the city with the highest density, and it's transportation network--the city relies entirely on subways, and devotes zero surface area to roads.

Cars take up an enormous amount of land area. Insuring sufficient parking means that there are four or five parking spaces for every registered driver. A standard parking spot is running about 200 square feet, once you count landscaping and space to enter and exit the parking space. About the size of a small studio apartment.

SimCity provides a very interesting perspective on development and scale. Unlike the real world, which is developed by multiple independent agents, a SimCity effectively has a 'single developer', who has the perfect cooperation of all municipal entities. Decisions that make sense in the microcosm don't always make sense in the macrocosm.