The granularity of cities

Architecture Here and There

instructions These superimposed maps of Cleveland now and then are easily used. (University of Oklahoma)

The University of Oklahoma’s Institute for Quality Communities has developed a website that offers superimposed maps of major American cities. The maps cover identical territory in each city, and you can slide a line in the middle to reveal the difference between now and then, then being 50 or 60 years ago at the height of the onset of urban renewal.

It is said that the phenomena of major highways cutting through cities, combined with the elimination of finely grained neighborhood fabric and its replacement with urban renewal and superprojects, has ushered in progress. I think that is debatable. Jane Jacobs, in her Death and Life of Great American Cities, makes a compelling argument that many of the changes were to the detriment of progress, at least in the livability of cities.

Small blocks…

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