Where Manhattan’s grid plan How Pakistan's cricket superstar became 1 day ago   06:16

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Manhattan is famous for its grid — so famous that people take pictures of the way the sun shines through it. But the origin of that grid wasn’t always certain — and not everybody is a fan.

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In this episode of Vox Almanac’s Road Trip edition, Phil Edwards explores the history of the New York City grid, with detours to Philadelphia, Savannah, and Washington, DC. Early city planning around the turn of the 19th century was a contentious and undecided discipline with lots of options and disagreement.

New York City was particularly chaotic and unplanned at the time, after years of catering to developers and, at the same time, ignoring their requests for a more sane city plan. That made the introduction of a new plan in the 1800s a more urgent matter — and a reasonable time to introduce a plan that lacked many of the artistic flourishes of contemporary city plans.

New York was all about building, and building fast — and it’s still that way today.

Want to learn more? The two most helpful papers we found were these:
“The grid as city plan: New York city and laissez‐faire planning in the nineteenth century” by Peter Marcuse and “The Greatest Grid: the New York Plan of 1811” by Edward K. Spann.

You can also find copies of a lot of early maps of New York via the Library of Congress and New York Public Library.

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Comments 600 Comments

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So what was so great about the other plan?
The Cereal Guy
Hm
Robert Perrett
It must be hard to drive when the sun is setting and/or rising in New York City, trying to avoid looking at the sun while driving isn't fun, but annoying.
Jeremy Weaver
That was a terrible final sentence, before you answered the question.
rrbaggett7
Excellent & fascinating, Phil! I frequently paused the video in order to zoom in to pore over the interesting maps & photos. Well done, young man!
Chris Licata
No mention of New Haven, CT the first grid city in North America which Philly got its idea from. Maybe first grid city ever, designed by John Davenport.
mahwahlax27
Took you 6 minutes to say that they built manhattan on a grid because right-angled houses are cheaper.
BASHX
My city has a circular plan!
Liz Paterson Gauntner
Could you do one on the grid in Ouagadougou?
Cheerios Gaming
I enjoy every single vox video I click on but this ones my favorite
Bob Mwangi
I wish this was longer. There's so much to learn about New York. Make a part 2!😀
Daniel Epps
Pittsburgh is just one big triangle. Everything ends downtown at the Point
helios396
I used to get confused when in cop TV dramas set in New York the characters are always saying things like, "suspect was last seen between 15th street and 19th avenue" or something like that.

I was like, New York uses numbers for street names? How boring...
It does make finding addresses much much easier if you think about it.
FedoraMiaza
Hey Vox!
Can we please have a schedule from you for the different series you upload (Ex. Darkroom every X day or Almanac every Y day). Thankyou!

Btw, love your videos.
Amanda Schwartz
*laugs in Boston
Sorabh Pant
Big deal. Mumbai is also a perfect grid. We just haven't lined the streets and roads in line yet.
MrPittsburghJ
Pretty funny, grids that is. Put a person from the east out to Las Vegas where it's pretty much all gridded and they get lost so easy.
Next, do DC. Masons might not let you dig too deep on that story.
Mossy Cross
This is my most favorite vox video and it just tells me the history of my own city and how it became what it is today
Carmen XD
Grand Master La Vallette designed Valletta, Malta as a grid city in
1566
MechaMicro
That is what it called “Optimized city”
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How Pakistan's cricket superstar became Where Manhattan’s grid plan 1 day ago   08:02

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Why the world is watching Imran Khan.
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Imran Khan was sworn in as Pakistan’s new prime minister on August 18, but he is no ordinary politician. Before rising to power, he was a dashing cricket superstar. He lead the Pakistani cricket team to victory in the 1992 World Cup against England and became a global celebrity. He settled in England, where his popularity grew and where he was known as a bachelor.

He eventually resettled in Pakistan, where he shed his lady’s-man image and established the political career that lead him to become the head of Pakistan’s government. His strong anti-corruption message and opposition to the political dynasties that have ruled Pakistan for decades helped him ascend to power. But many have accused him of also getting help from Pakistan’s most powerful authority: the military. As Khan starts his tenure, we explore his rise to power and how Pakistan’s political climate might affect his term as prime minister.

Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com.

Watch our full video catalog: http://goo.gl/IZONyE
Follow Vox on Facebook: http://goo.gl/U2g06o
Or Twitter: http://goo.gl/XFrZ5H

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