Imagining New York's street grid applied to the entire world

ExtendNY is a Google Maps hack that literally extends Manhattan’s grid all across the surface of the globe, fulfilling the modernist dream of infinite expansion of geometric space–the entire world, primed for urban development. The physical grid has no center point, with the width of avenues (longitude) and cross streets (latitude) varying, it isn’t surprising that it doesn’t exactly line up with its virtual counterpart. Given that Manhattan exists on the surface of a sphere, the longitudinal lines bend toward each other, ultimately converging, while the streets, like latitudinal lines, are concentric circles and never intersect.

The project brings to mind both J.G. Ballard’s Concentration City, a globe-spanning metropolis whose geometric and economic strictures act as forces of oppression, and Saul Steinberg’s View of the World from 9th Avenue, which depicts Manhattan as the center of the civilized world and renders all outlying lands in a haze. Where Ballard’s story intimates the psychological and ecological conditions wrought by the continuous city, Steinberg’s view is more conservative. At least he’s looking in the right direction–all roads lead to Uzbekistan.

The Eiffel Tower at 64,857 and 12,770th.

Uzbekistan, Manhattan’s antipode.

This article originally appeared at Architizer.com, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Orange traffic cones save parking spaces on a neighborhood street in South Boston.
    Life

    The Psychology of Boston's Snow Parking Wars

    In Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia, an informal code allows residents to claim a parking space after shoveling it out. But the practice is often at odds both with the law and with the mores of changing neighborhoods.

  2. A tow truck operator hooks up a damaged bus in 2011 in New York.
    POV

    Should Transit Agencies Panic?

    Many predict that new technology will doom public transportation. They’re wrong.  

  3. An aisle in a grocery store
    Equity

    It's Not the Food Deserts: It's the Inequality

    A new study suggests that America’s great nutritional divide goes deeper than the problem of food access within cities.

  4. Equity

    Where Amazon HQ2 Could Worsen Affordability the Most

    Some of the cities dubbed finalists in Amazon’s headquarters search are likely to see a greater strain on their housing market, a new analysis finds.

  5. Equity

    Even the Dead Could Not Stay

    An illustrated history of urban renewal in Roanoke, Virginia.