Urbanization News March 25

This weeks featured story: New York City’s grid turns 200 years old! Hippodamus of Miletus, the ancient Greek urban planner, viewed the urban grid  as a manifestation of “the rationality of civilized life.” Urban historian Edward K. Spann believes unlike no other city in the world, “was the triumph of the grid as decisive as in America’s greatest city.”  How has New York City’s grid shaped your urban experience?

NYC Grid Turns 200 “Two hundred years ago on Tuesday [March 22], the city’s street commissioners certified the no-frills street matrix that heralded New York’s transformation into the City of Angles — the rigid 90-degree grid that spurred unprecedented development, gave birth to vehicular gridlock and defiant jaywalking, and spawned a new breed of entrepreneurs who would exponentially raise the value of Manhattan’s real estate.” Read more from the New York Times and see an interactive map.

Lagos to Expand BRT System “Lagos, Nigeria’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system, established in 2008, will expand its services more than 13 miles from Oshodi to Ikorodu… Since its inception three years ago, the BRT between Mile 12 and CMS stations has transported 170 million passengers and reduced travel times by 30 minutes, The Daily Independent reports. Furthermore, the BRT decreased fares by 40 percent and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 13 percent. The system also resulted in 2,000 direct and 3,000 indirect employment, contributing to economic growth and poverty reduction…”  Read more from The City Fix.

A petition to save Chandigarh, Le Corbusier’s modernist city in India, from being sold off bit-by-bit “With the knowledge of—and in some cases, it is asserted, the complicity of—local ministries, furniture, light fixtures, and architectural drawings have been auctioned off in the international antiquities market. The news the city’s iconic Corbusier-designed manhole covers were fetching upward of US $20,000 at auction in Europe and the United States raised alarms in international modernist preservation and Indian heritage circles. International Herald Tribune design critic Alice Rawsthorn has begun a petition to save the city from further plunder.” Read more from domus.

Kaohsiung Public Transit Push “In 2006, Kaohsiung City recorded a paltry 4.3 percent share for public transportation usage. In the years since, the Kaohsiung City government launched an ambitious plan to increase ridership in Taiwan’s second largest urban area…. Once a culture of public transportation ridership is firmly established, the government will begin to implement policies to discourage specific private transportation options.”  Read more from The City Fix.

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