Paper Conference

Proceedings of SimBuild Conference 2010: 4th conference of IBPSA-USA


Estimating Material Usage of Road Infrastructure in US Cities

David Quinn, John E. Fernández
Department of Building Technology, School of Architecture and Planning Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA

Abstract: This paper examines patterns that emerge in cities and proposes a link between these patterns and material usage. This approach considers road infrastructure in cities to be a structured complex system, with properties that can be described mathematically. A general methodology is proposed and applied using data from 40 US cities. By identifying a road scaling pattern and its range of variation, material usage of road infrastructure can be estimated based on the distance from the urban center. The results of this analysis are visualized spatially providing an intuitive way of understanding these patterns. A preliminary estimate of material consumption is made, with suggestions for future improvement.
Pages: 365 - 376