Street Network Connectivity
Street network connectivity refers to the structure of the street network including the pattern of streets and the type and number of street intersections. A connected street network has higher number of street connections (street density), creates multiple route options, and shorter block lengths that support active transportation.
A highly interconnected street network is one component of compact neighborhoods (aka New Urbanist, smart growth, or traditional neighborhoods). The 15-minute city or 20-minute neighborhood also relates to the compact city, in which residents are able to walk or bike a short distance to their daily destinations.
Increasing street network connectivity is recommended strategy for increasing walking and physical activity (Community Guide, 2016). Higher street network connectivity reduces vehicle miles traveled (VMT) (Stevens, 2017, paywall) and therefore, reduces greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
Street network connectivity encourages walking and cycling, and if it substitutes for a vehicle trip, can reduce air pollution. A highly interconnected street network tends to have fewer crashes (Marshall & Garrick, 2011, paywall).
Equity and Inclusion
While a highly connected street network is associated with increased physical activity in adults, it may relate to lower levels of physical activity in youth (Mecredy et al, 2011).
Guides & Reports