Why Are European Cities So Dense?, Andrew Small

30/10/2016

That’s the question posed by the latest video from Wendover Productions, the folks who render addictively tidy explanations for complex transportation, geography, and legal matters. After their recent video on why American trains are such a pain, Wendover is channeling their inner urbanist once again to tackle density—specifically, why European cities pack so many more people into their urban cores.

Oops, spoiler alert: The answer is Paris. The French capital has 56,000 people per square mile while NYC, the most densely settled U.S. metropolis, has only 27,000 people per square mile. In fact, old New Amsterdam would only come in sixth on a European density ranking—equal to Lyon, France and below Athens, Barcelona, Monaco, and Frederiksberg.