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Across the Globe, Urban Sprawl Is Spreading

Satellite images dating back to 1975 allow researchers to map how millions of cul-de-sacs and dead-ends have proliferated in street networks worldwide.
We're on a road to nowhere.
We're on a road to nowhere.George Frey/Bloomberg

A connected street is a healthier street. Neighborhoods with more short links and intersections—and fewer dead-ends and cul-de-sacs—have lower rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, researchers have found. In part, that’s because they promote walking and biking.

So what does it mean that the world is growing less connected?