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Reconsidering the Cul-de-sac

Working paper #513
Michael Southworth and Eran Ben-Joseph

The cul-de-sac pattern of residential development has enjoyed public acceptance for many decades, but it has recently been attacked as a formless, socially segregated, automobile-dependent pattern of development. Despite these criticisms, it is worth examining the potentials of this pattern, which has a long history. It offers safe and quiet streets, can be less invasive in ecologically sensitive areas than the interconnected grid, and can provide extensive unbroken open space for pedestrians and bicyclists. Creative design approaches could fuse the advantages of both the grid and cul-de-sac patterns.

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