When I was two years old, my family moved from the Bay Area to Northampton, Massachusetts. My earliest memories are from there and it is one of the three or four places I usually claim as my hometown.
My family loved Northampton, and even after moving away, we would make regular pilgrimages back every few summers or so. I really wasn’t sure what I liked so much about it until I went to urban design school, but now I know part of it was the organic street grid. Each block feels distinct, and the slight curves of the streets create outdoor rooms, while the density of the street network allows multiple ways to get to your destination.
Unfortunately, the organic street system, common in other parts of the world, is a rare thing in the US and Canada. I decided to take a look at the major cities of Anglo-America…
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