Friday, September 28, 2012

Summarizing Reticulated vs. Dendritic

To honor my 490,000th page view, I pulled this out of the comments because I thought I did a better job summarizing the critical difference between reticulated and dendritic street networks:

Reticulated doesn't necessarily have to be a rigid grid, it just has to be heavily interconnected.  Honeycombs, a Parisien or DC grid which is more Baroque, or even a winding medieval street where the interconnections were made not by some grand plan, but by local choice because it made sense also qualify as reticulated networks.   
The key difference between reticulated and dendritic isn't so much about shape but rather choice of route.  In dendritic, you are funneled into one route and if there is a problem on that route you have little option to make a local decision.  In reticulated, you have a multiplicity of choices of route.  If one has traffic or special event or what have you it doesn't choke the system.  The users are smart and adaptability/flexibility is built into the system.   
The point I was trying to make with that piece was that the presence of the multiplicity of choice is ultimately advantageous, you are more interconnected to more things, more amenities, which then leads to greater desirability, greater demand, and ultimately greater density.  All market oriented as steered by the invisible arm of public infrastructural networks.