Gridded Spaces, Gridded Worlds

  • Reuben Rose-RedwoodEmail author
  • Liora Bigon


This introductory chapter provides an overview of interdisciplinary scholarship on the urban grid from a comparative historical perspective. Its general aim is to situate the current edited collection within broader discussions of the grid in urban history from antiquity to the present. In doing so, the chapter explores the political and economic rationalities that have informed the diverse uses of the grid as a mode of urban spatial ordering as well as the wide range of theoretical perspectives that have been brought to bear on interpreting the significance of the grid. In particular, we examine the relationship between the grid plan and political ideology; its role as a political technology of imperialism, colonialism, and the formation of the modern territorial state; and the various ways in which the production of “gridded worlds” has shaped the spatial imaginaries and everyday lives of urban inhabitants around the world. By examining the entangled histories of the grid, this chapter considers the variegated associations of gridded urban space with different political ideologies, economic systems, and cosmological orientations, and outlines the rationale for the present anthology of key writings on the urban grid as a way of taking stock of the existing literature in order to inspire new avenues of research on the past, present, and future of the gridded worlds of urban life.


Grid plan Political technology Spatial imaginaries Urban design History of urban planning 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of VictoriaVictoriaCanada
  2. 2.Holon Institute of TechnologyHolonIsrael

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