Municipal Art Society Course: The Evolution of the Urban Grid: New York City

Understanding NYC’s Medieval and Baroque Precedents in European and American Urban Capital Cities

Fourteenth Street in Manhattan is the divide between a rationally-planned streetscape to the north and an organic maze of medieval streets to the south. This course will examine the evolution of both types of urban planning in European and American urban capitals in order to understand the history and principals of New York City’s development, as well as to point out the innovations and differences that Gotham has to offer.

Taught by Professor Carl Riobo of Barnard College, the class will meet on three successive Tuesday evenings to discuss the following topics:

  • February 6 – Introduction. European cities, including Rome, Madrid and Paris, with nods to London, Barcelona and early Hellenic cities.
  • February 13 – American cities. Primarily Washington D.C. and Philadelphia with brief mention of Boston, Baltimore and New Haven.
  • February 20 – New York City.

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The above photo could be a scene from Any Suburb, USA. Except … what’s the deal with the helmet-free cyclist in street clothes? “Welcome to Orange County,” writes Andrew Stokols at TheCityFix. “No, not Orange County, California. This is Orange County, Beijing.” Stokols says walled-off suburbs modeled on U.S. “gated communities” are gaining popularity among the affluent […]