Story: City public spaces

Dunedin’s grid plan

Almost every colonial town was laid out on a grid pattern – squares of vertical and horizontal streets. The grid appealed to town founders because it imposed instant order on the landscape and could be easily subdivided. However, on hilly sites it resulted in steep streets and sudden endings. Dunedin’s grid plan resulted in some very steep streets – including the Southern Hemisphere’s steepest: Baldwin Street. Dunedin’s plan was distinctive in being centred on an octagon.

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Toitū Otago Settlers Museum
Engraving by F. W. Flanagan

Permission of Toitū Otago Settlers Museum must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Geoffrey Rice, 'City public spaces - Streets, avenues and pedestrian spaces', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 27 September 2020)

Story by Geoffrey Rice, published 11 Mar 2010