A Comparative Historical Analysis of Transport Infrastructure Development in Organic Urban Structures and Formally Planned Gridded Systems: The Case of London and New York City

By Ann Maudsley.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 26, 2015 $US5.00

Since antiquity, there have been many new planning systems and styles that have emerged, transformed, developed, and/or failed. Although it has not always been favoured by urban designers and planners, the grid of rectilinear intersecting streets and blocks has remained resilient and an essential design element in the planning of settlements. This is partially due to its adaptability and flexibility in the retrofitting of infrastructure, crucial to the survival of cities and their inhabitants. This study explores the continuation and adaptation of gridded urban forms in relation to the retrofitting of infrastructure particularly transport networks. Through a qualitative analysis and bibliographic review technical in nature, it traces the history of urban planning, and public transport infrastructure, particularly the development of surface and underground railways in grid planning systems. Findings are compared with those from non-grid, specifically organically developed, settlements.

Keywords: Grid, Non-grid and Organic Settlements, Retrofitting Above-ground and Underground Railway Infrastructure

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Volume 9, Issue 2, May 2015, pp.1-11. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 26, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 863.105KB)).

Ann Maudsley

PhD Candidate, Melbourne School Design, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Ann Maudsley: Ann Maudsley is currently a PhD student at Melbourne School of Design in architecture, building, and planning at the University of Melbourne. Her PhD thesis, titled "Adaptability, Flexibility and the Grid: A Study of Infrastructure in 19th Century British Colonial Planned Cities", aims to determine the grid’s adaptability and flexibility, and thus, contribution to the longevity and resilience of cities and towns. This enquiry will be resolved through analysis of infrastructure construction and patterns in cities founded during the British colonial expansion of the 19th century and comparisons to other grid and non-grid cities. She works as a strategic urban planner at Melbourne Water, Melbourne’s water corporation, and has guest lectured and tutored in undergraduate and postgraduate courses on architecture, building, and planning at the University of Melbourne.