Edited by Robin Hickman, Moshe Givoni, David Bonilla and David Banister
The design and planning of street networks is a lost art in contemporary transportation studies. For much of the past 60 years, the focus in transportation has been on optimizing the performance of individual transportation links. However, this is beginning to change with a growing awareness of the important role that the overall street network plays for efficient and sustainable transportation performance as well as placemaking. This renewed awareness is reflected with an increasing attention of this subject by scholars in such fields as urban planning, geography, and, to a lesser extent, transportation engineering. The emerging interest in street networks is not just limited to professionals – it is also spreading across the general population. For example, the story of the Manhattan street network was the subject of a major exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York in 2011 and 2012. This broad-based reawakening of the subject of street networks illustrates the larger point that street networks are not just about transportation; they influence almost all aspects of urban life. Academic research on this subject is beginning to support long-held beliefs by urban planners that a good street network is a necessary foundation for building strong and vital cities.
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