Methods and Measures for Analyzing Complex Street Networks and Urban Form

236 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2017

See all articles by Geoff Boeing

Geoff Boeing

University of Southern California - Sol Price School of Public Policy

Date Written: May 1, 2017

Abstract

Complex systems have been widely studied by social and natural scientists in terms of their dynamics and their structure. Scholars of cities and urban planning have incorporated complexity theories from qualitative and quantitative perspectives. From a structural standpoint, the urban form may be characterized by the morphological complexity of its circulation networks – particularly their density, resilience, centrality, and connectedness. This dissertation unpacks theories of nonlinearity and complex systems, then develops a framework for assessing the complexity of urban form and street networks. It introduces a new tool, OSMnx, to collect street network and other urban form data for anywhere in the world, then analyze and visualize them. Finally, it presents a large empirical study of 27,000 street networks, examining their metric and topological complexity relevant to urban design, transportation research, and the human experience of the built environment.

Keywords: complexity, complex systems, cities, urban planning, urban design, urban morphology, transportation, built environment, street networks, network analysis, resilience, nonlinearity, connectivity, centrality, topology, urban form

JEL Classification: R00, R14, R20, R4, R40, R41, R42, R52, R58, C63, H70

Suggested Citation

Boeing, Geoff, Methods and Measures for Analyzing Complex Street Networks and Urban Form (May 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3012684 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3012684

Geoff Boeing (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Sol Price School of Public Policy ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626
United States

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