January 31, 2014


Evolving Transportation Networks


Friday, 1:40 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.


1605 Tilia, Room 1103, West Village


Over the last two centuries, the development of modern transportation has significantly transformed human life. Using multidimensional concepts and methods, the presentation develops a holistic framework to represent network growth as an open and complex process with models that demonstrate in a scientific way how numerous independent decisions made by entities such as travelers, property owners, developers, and public jurisdictions could result in a coherent network of facilities on the ground. Models are proposed from innovative perspectives including self-organization, degeneration, and sequential connection to interpret the evolutionary growth of transportation networks in explicit consideration of independent economic and regulatory initiatives. Using a wide spectrum of empirical and theoretical evidence, the presentation shows that network growth follows a path that is not only logical in retrospect, but also predictable and manageable from a planning perspective.

Biographical Sketch

Prof. David Levinson serves on the faculty of the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota and directs the Networks, Economics, and Urban Systems (NEXUS) research group. He holds the Richard P. Braun/CTS Chair in Transportation. Levinson has authored or edited several books, including The Transportation Experience, and numerous peer reviewed articles. He is the editor of the Journal of Transport and Land Use. He blogs at The Transportationist.org .

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