New Study Shows That Rats Prefer Cities With Logical Street Grids
ABOUT A YEAR AGO, I covered an unfolding drama in Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle where a rat had jumped into a baby stroller, leading to a jurisdictional squabble over exactly who had rodent control responsibilities there. While rats certainly do enjoy the circle, a new study shows that they like rectangular grids. According to Science Daily, rats love Manhattan in particular because they can cover more territory because of the logical street grid.
According to Science Daily:
"We put rats in relatively large areas with objects and routes resembling those in Manhattan,” explains Prof. [David] Eilam. The rats, he found, do the same things humans do: They establish a grid system to orient themselves. Using the grid, the rats covered a vast amount of territory, “seeing the sights” quickly. In contrast, rats in an irregular plan resembling New Orleans’ failed to move far from where they started and didn’t cover much territory, despite travelling the same distances as the "Manhattan rats."So if rats understand street grids, what does that mean for the District of Columbia, where much of the city is a giant grid interrupted by giant diagonal avenues? Does Pennsylvania Avenue provide an easy route for rats to cross quadrants? Does that mean that traffic circles and squares, at the intersection of the grand avenues, create natural gathering spots for rats (and I suppose people)?
That would be an interesting study ...
» "Rats Say: Manhattan Rules!" [Science Daily]