Multi-university campuses

From the Minnesota Daily: Multiuniversity campus in Chaska recruits institutions
Is this the future of the university, divorcing the education from the shell? Perhaps a return to the day when each professor was paid directly by the students is in order, and students could walk from lecture to lecture, where a university is literally, not merely figuratively, a marketplace of ideas. I certainly wouldn’t need to charge 50% overhead.

Accessibility, Mobility and Density

Are accessibility and mobility complements or substitutes? I have a mental model a graph with a y-axis as density, and x-axis as mobility, where the Northeast corner would be high access: high density multiplied by high mobiilty.
This system behaves differently by modes. For transit, cities arrange themselves on a line from the southwest to the northeast (a positive feedback loop between supply and demand). For auto cities arrange on a line from the southeast to the northwest (a negative feedback loop between congestion and demand). Using data one could place specific cities on the graph. One expects places like New York and Hong Kong in the northeast corner, most US cities in the southeast corner, small developing-world cities without widespread adoption of modern automobile or transit technology in the southwest corner. Depending on where you draw the threshold, it is hard to see too many places in the upper northwest corner, as it would be difficult to grow to have high density without mobility. (Why would the city grow without the accessibility advantages?)
Density Mobility Tradeoff
Accessibility is a good, but it is not a good without costs, and there are limits to how much people are willing to pay for access. It may also suffer from diminishing returns, beyond a point each unit of accessibility is worth less and less. Places like Minneapolis have yet to reach that point, but surely there are places that have.

Weighted Density

Via Yglesias: Austin Contrarian: Density calculations for U.S. urbanized areas, weighted by census tract
The Census definitions are weighted by area, this is weighted by census track population, and produces a different, and some would say more intuitive result.
An interesting calculation, and goes back to the same issue regarding Observation Bias that comes up with transit ridership, although in this case, the observation bias may be weighting by area rather than population (so long as everything is properly defined).

TCP Congestion

Via Slashdot: Fixing the unfairness of TCP congestion control
A nice article on the logic behind traffic management on the internet. If only we transportation engineers could simply drop packets (analogous to a helicopter vaporizing cars that were in queue?) The problem of course is that bandwidth use is not charged at marginal cost when it is in the congesting region, leading to overconsumption. The issue is the transaction costs associated with implementing a charging regime.

Speed limits for mode shifts

From the Telegraph:
15mph speed limit to force people out of cars

The UK is planning a series of 15 new “eco-towns”. As part of their design, a 15mph (Britain is not consistently metric) speed limit in the heart of these new towns hopes to discourage auto use, in stark contrast to the older new towns (Stevanage to Milton Keynes) which made freeflowing traffic a centerpiece.

a blog about Networks and Places


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