Density and Car Use in North American Cities, 1991
The strong association (R2=0.694) between density (number
of people per hectare) and car use (average number of kilometers driven
per capita per year) indicates that modal preference, urban form and
density are closely related. While for Houston and Phoenix, dispersed
developments and low densities leaves little choice other than car usage,
denser locations such as New York, Toronto and Montreal have more alternatives.
For instance, between 1950 and 1990 while the population of Chicago
grew by 38%, its built area grew by 124%. The challenge of many cities
wishing to address car dependency is to offer development plans that
meets the mobility demands of their populations, while increasing density.