Urban road networks spatial networks with universal geometric features?
S.H.Y. Chan, R.V. Donner, S. Lämmer
Urban road networks have distinct geometric properties that are partially determined by their (quasi-) two-dimensional structure. In this work, we study these properties for 20 of the largest German cities.We find that the small-scale geometry of all examined road networks is extremely similar. The object-size distributions of road segments and the resulting cellular structures are characterised by heavy tails. As a specific feature, a large degree of rectangularity is observed in all networks, with link angle distributions approximately described by stretched exponential functions. We present a rigorous statistical analysis of the main geometric characteristics and discuss their mutual interrelationships. Our results demonstrate the fundamental importance of cost-efficiency constraints for the time evolution of urban road networks.