Since
high school, for my own amusement I've drawn pencil sketches of
plans, playing with the challenge of working out the geometry.
Here is one category: *streets*
for imaginary cities.
Having
grown up on the plains of central Ohio, I tend to imagine cities
without hills, rivers, or other obstructions that would distort my
regular geometry. Except for one town that surrounds a round
lake, all of these plans assume a large expanse of flat, empty land.
In
a simple street grid, north-south streets and east-west streets
cross each other at regular intervals, and all of them are of equal
rank. But it usually helps to design a hierarchy in which some
streets are "higher" than others. The "high
streets" may be wider and carry more traffic at faster
speeds. The other streets may be more numerous and be lined
with individual houses and other destinations.
For
example, in Manhattan, the north-south avenues take priority over
the east-west streets. The name of each consists of two words,
like "Madison Avenue" or "Thirtieth Street."
Here's
another scheme that I dreamed up. To obtain the first word of
thoroughfare names, for east-west I chose *colors* in
alphabetical order, and for north-south I chose *animals*
(Armadillo, Beaver, Cougar, Deer...). To obtain the second
word, I defined these priorities:
Alley |
Avenue |
Boulevard |
Lane |
Mainline |
Place |
Street |
Way |
One-eighth
of the thoroughfares are of the lowest rank and are colored yellow
(Alley). Half are of ordinary rank and are colored pink
(Avenue, Lane, Place, Way). A quarter are of higher rank and
are colored turquoise (Boulevard, Street). And an eighth are of
the highest rank and are colored green (Mainline).
**(TEXT
CONTINUED BELOW)**
Where
two non-yellow streets of equal rank cross each other, the
intersection is enlarged to make a square. The larger the
square, the more public the structures that front on it.
The
largest square, of course, is where two green streets cross.
For example, the intersection of Red Mainline and Deer Mainline is
called Red Deer Square and is bounded by eight monumental buildings,
indicated by crosshatching.
Each
such green square has four turquoise squares nearby. For
example, one of them is at the intersection of Red Boulevard and Deer
Boulevard; it's called Red Deer Northwest and is lined with retail
stores. The next turquoise square to the east would be at the
intersection of Red Boulevard and Deer *Street* (not shown) and
would be called Red Deer North*east.*
Finally,
each turquoise square is surrounded by four small pink squares. |