The History and the Flaws of the Cul-de-Sac

This episode of 99% Invisible looks into the history of the cul-de-sac, and why its design flaws overpower its benefits.

"When people critique cul-de-sacs, a lot of the time, they're actually critiquing the suburbs more generally. The cul-de-sac has become sort of like the mascot of the suburbs– like if suburbia had a flag, it would have a picture of a cul-de-sac on it. Cul-de-sacs by definition aren't well connected to other streets and they are far away town centers. People can argue whether or not these are pros or cons, depending on what lifestyle choices they prioritize. For little kids, cul-de-sacs can be great, but they do have some real, quantifiable design flaws."

And through the lens of the film E.T., the cul-de-sac is explored as an example of some of the pros, but the piece also delves into the street design's flaws.

Full Story: Episode 29- Cul de Sac

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245

NEW! City Map Posters

Available in 9 different cities.
$25.00

NEW! Get the "Green Bible"

Understand the complexities of planning at the local level while preparing for the AICP* exam. Find out why this edition is included in the APA's recommended reading list.
$105