Street-network Sprawl in Buenos Aires, Argentina


What is Street-network sprawl?

Street-network Sprawl is a way to measure urban sprawl, worldwide, through the connectedness of the streets. Less sprawl means more connected, more walkable streets. Well-connected streets – like New York City’s grid – are more walkable and can be served by public transit.

The street network is permanent, and its connectivity affects the livability and environmental footprint of cities for decades and centuries to come. In places with more connected streets, residents drive less and walk more. A well-connected street network is associated with better outcomes for health, the environment, sustainable consumption, social integration, and equity.

We can quantify how connected street networks are with the Street Network Disconnectedness Index (SNDi).

SNDi -- our measure of street-network sprawl (disconnectedness)

The SNDi is a comprehensive measurement of “sprawl”. It captures:

A higher SNDi means less-connected streets – i.e., more sprawl. For the 10262 cities in our dataset, the average SNDi is 2.25, with half of the cities' SNDis falling between 1.08 and 3.25.

More information on the sprawl index can be found in these research papers:

To see the state of street-network sprawl across the globe, visit the sprawlmap.

Buenos Aires: city in Argentina

What exactly constitutes the spatial extent of the city? For these aggregations, we used the Global Human Settlement Layer Urban Center Database (GHS-UCDB) to define the boundaries of the city. These cities -- or urban centers -- cover areas that are densely populated and built-up, and so may extend beyond the spatial borders of these cities that we may be familiar with. The GHS area is shaded in blue.

View Buenos Aires, Argentina on the sprawlmap

Most recent snapshot: Taking into account the entire (i.e. aggregate) street network in Buenos Aires as of 2014, the overall level of street-network sprawl is 0.27, which is very well-connected.

Trends in street network construction: The SNDis of street construction for the respective time periods are -0.06, 0.78, 2.63 and 2.55. Street construction in Buenos Aires increased in disconnectivity initially but has since improved. The streets constructed in 1991-2000 were the most disconnected.

Quantity of street network construction: The street network in Buenos Aires spans a total of 29984 kilometers. It is dominated by roads constructed prior to 1975. These roads have an SNDi of -0.06, which is very well-connected.

Effect on the aggregate network: New construction in each period adds to the total stock of streets, but does not change streets that have already been built. Therefore, it has a limited effect on the street network as a whole. The SNDis of the aggregate street network in the respective time periods are -0.06, 0.08, 0.2 and 0.27. Overall, the SNDi of the aggregate street network has risen: the street network in Buenos Aires has become more disconnected. This increase has slowed: between 1975 and 1976-1990, SNDi rose by 0.14 points, but between 1991-2000 and 2001-2014, it rose by just 0.07.

Buenos Aires and Buenos Aires do not follow the same trend in the disconnectivity of their street network constructions. The SNDi in Buenos Aires peaked in 1991-2000, while the SNDi of street constructions in Buenos Aires rose steadily.

How do development practices in Buenos Aires fare in comparison to others in Buenos Aires? Most recently in 2001-2014, street construction in Buenos Aires was the 5th-most disconnected out of the 17 cities in Buenos Aires. Its position in the ranks since 1975 has risen; relative to other cities in Buenos Aires, street construction in Buenos Aires has become more disconnected. Buenos Aires ranked 6th in 1975, 8th in 1976-1990, 3rd in 1991-2000 and 5th in 2001-2014.

Buenos Aires and Argentina do not follow the same trend in the disconnectivity of their street network constructions. The SNDi in Buenos Aires peaked in 1991-2000, while the SNDi of street constructions in Argentina rose steadily.

How do development practices in Buenos Aires fare in comparison to others in Argentina? Most recently in 2001-2014, street construction in Buenos Aires was the 15th-most disconnected out of the 70 cities in Argentina. Its position in the ranks since 1975 has risen; relative to other cities in Argentina, street construction in Buenos Aires has become more disconnected. Buenos Aires ranked 33rd in 1975, 18th in 1976-1990, 7th in 1991-2000 and 15th in 2001-2014.

Buenos Aires and Buenos Aires follow the same trend in the disconnectivity of their aggregate street networks. The SNDi for both of these rose steadily.

To date, Buenos Aires is the 6th-most disconnected out of the 17 cities in Buenos Aires. Its position in the ranks since 1975 has not changed. Buenos Aires ranked 6th in 1975, 8th in 1976-1990, 6th in 1991-2000 and 6th in 2001-2014.

Buenos Aires and Argentina follow the same trend in the disconnectivity of their aggregate street networks. The SNDi for both of these rose steadily.

To date, Buenos Aires is the 33rd-most disconnected out of the 70 cities in Argentina. Its position in the ranks since 1975 has not changed. Buenos Aires ranked 33rd in 1975, 38th in 1976-1990, 34th in 1991-2000 and 33rd in 2001-2014.

As of 2015, Buenos Aires had a built-up area of 1359.4 square kilometers, and a population of 13906506 people.

These are some other cities with approximately the same population:

For some related information about population, urban extent and density, and roads, visit the Atlas of Urban Expansion.