Source: Adapted from C. Gardner (2011) Old Urbanist. Density on the Ground: Cities and Building Coverage. Refers to density within city limits. Includes open parking areas. The larger share of parks in New York is attributed to Central Park.
The footprint occupied by urban activities is reflective of their importance and priority. The ratio between built-up areas and roads (which includes outdoor parking areas) shows notable variations among cities. This is mainly attributable to historical factors, particularly if the road grid was planned before the diffusion of the automobile as well as the share of public transit systems, such as subways, in central areas. A city with more than 35% of its surface devoted to roads and parking lots is defined as a highly motorized city.