The Greatest Grid


Other Grids

Washington, D.C. (Detail)
Philadelphia (Detail)

Gridded city plans are common but vary enormously in design.

The character of a grid plan is determined principally by two factors: the width of the streets and the size of the blocks. Of course, other factors also affect how a grid develops: landscape features, the location of parks and squares, land use regulations, building codes, population density, and land values. But nothing is more fundamental than the grain of the grid—the dimensions and relationships of streets and blocks. Read More

This section offers a highly selective survey of grids before and after New York’s 1811 plan; it is not inventory of the countless urban grids worldwide. The purpose of these comparisons is to underscore the distinctive features of the 1811 Plan of Manhattan. Show Less