31 Activity – Organizing Places

In the previous chapter you learned that cities can be organized in many different ways. In this chapter you will apply that lesson to analyze the town or city where you live.  You will first analyze it from a “wide angle” point of view to identify parts of the city that have different purposes and to locate any geographical or constructed features that affect how the city is organized.   Next, you will “zoom in” to take a close look at the street plan and look for any principles or rules for naming streets.

A “Wide Angle” Analysis Of Your City

  1.  Use Google Maps or any other map you like and find the map that has your town or city in the center.
  2.  Is the city organized to create separate places or areas for housing, recreation, shopping, schools, government, or other distinct purposes?
  3.  Do any of these areas have neighborhood names?
  4.  Are the boundaries or organization of the city affected by geographical features like mountains, rivers, lakes, or deserts?
  5. Are the boundaries or organization of the city affected by constructed features like highways, bridges, or canals?

A “Zoom In” Analysis Of Your City

  1.  Zoom in on the map to the downtown or center of the city to a zoom level where you can see the names of streets
  2.  Is the city plan irregular like that of Rome, or more regular like that of Salt Lake City?
  3.  Are streets organized using letters or numbers?  (Avenue A, B, C…  1st, 2nd, 3rd Street)
  4. Do some streets have names based on landmarks?  (Wall Street, Canal Street, Mission Street)
  5. Are some streets named after presidents or other famous people?
  6.  Are there any other naming patterns for streets?  (in Washington DC, many of the streets are named after states — the White House is on Pennsylvania Avenue)


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"The Discipline of Organizing" for Kids Copyright © 2022 by Robert J Glushko is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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