The Enduring Attraction of the Grid

Fresh from a lively debate about the desirability of the gridiron layout of cities at CNU 21, Paul Knight shares his eight central arguments for why one would be wise to use the rectilinear grid today.

At the recently held CNU 21 conference in Salt Lake City, Knight and Kevin Klinkenberg debated Howard Blackson and Bill Dennis on the value of the grid at an event Steve Mouzon called "the most entertaining session I think I've ever attended at a CNU." In this post, Knight summarizes the eight key benefits of the gridiron layout: walkable, navigable, adaptable, orthogonal, economical, sustainable, appendable, historical.

To get a glimpse at the counter-arguments, see Mouzon's post about the Great American Grid Debate

"Do not succumb to the knee-jerk reaction that grids are boring," concludes Knight. "Instead, take a deep breath, go to Google Earth, and drop the Google-Street-View-Man onto a grid. You will find a variety of places (goodbad, and great) all predicated upon the exact same city plan. The grid can be as wonderful or as terrible as you decide to make it. All I am saying is give grids a chance."

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