SimCity just had it's first closed beta event and Norman Chan over at Tested decided to see how the game responded to real world city planning systems. It turns out the game responds really well to how things actually work. Normman tried out the surburban-urban grid, radiating sprawl, and cul-de-sac plans for an hour each, and cities built up around the roads in a way that is similar to how real cities develop.
It's an interesting read and it's reassuring to know that SimCity is actually a simulation of a city. It's always infinitely more fun to mess around in a sandbox when things respond in a realistic way. That's what makes Paradox's grand strategy games like Europa Universalis so fun. The more detail and realism they can pack in, the better.
SimCity vs. The Suburban Sprawl [Tested]