The One Weird Rule that Explains Urban Sprawl

The One Weird Rule that Explains Urban Sprawl

From ancient Rome to modern Atlanta, the shape of cities has been defined by the technologies that allow commuters to get to work in about 30 minutes.

Key findings

The Marchetti Constant is the idea that people have always been willing to travel about a half hour one-way from their home.

The addition of streetcars made it so that people could travel further distances to work and not have to live in tenement housing in the inner cities.

The greatest promise for matching technology to the modern worker has always been the idea of divorcing work from transportation entirely: telecommuting. Despite evidence to the contrary, employers remain skeptical of the productivity of remote workers.

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